https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CharmingTiger

The Secret Identities have been Revealed

My two favorite moderators, AlexisLinguist and Usagiboy7, have just unveiled their true selves! I have to say, I am pleasantly surprised on both fronts. I did not imagine Alexis as African American, I assumed that Usagi was Asian for some reason and I pictured both of them as being much older.

Now that I am aware of their actual identities, there is no longer any mystery behind who they are in real life. However, I don't think this will affect our interactions at all. I have learned a great deal from them the past few months, which I am grateful for. I discovered who they are as people by reading their many posts, and chatting with them personally. Physical appearance has little bearing on the more important stuff, like the unique personality that each of them brings to the table via their words and actions. But, now I know they are both attractive people! They are both very helpful, very delightful, and I will continue to hold them in the highest regard.

How about you? How do you feel about those who reveal their identity on Duolingo? Are you happy to use your own picture as the avatar, or do you prefer anonymity and if so why?

December 25, 2014

46 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jack.Elliot

No secret about my identity

I like fish

and I am a puffin

December 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

gives jackelliot a fish and a hot chocolate with a dash of coffee I won't even try to imagine you as anything but a puffin my friend. The world would be unhinged!

As for your prompt, Tiger, it can be very odd when people change their icon, even just from not person to not person. My sibling's icon being the exception, but only because she changes it so very often that I look forward to what's coming next. When people change to faces, reality feels like it jumps the track just a bit. To that effect I want to reassure everyone that I'm actually a little blue bunny. ^_~

As for anonymity, I am a very shy bunny. It took me more than 451 days to get up the courage to keep my face up there for more than a panic dashed second.

Now for some Christmas trivia: Why is the blue bunny sometimes white? (Not referring to my human form.) I expect every life scientist to guess it, not that you'll need such a background to guess correctly, however. :D

December 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/heathermagoo

That's easy. Because sometimes bunny forgets to add the blueberries on top of its Vanilla Ice Cream.

December 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

Close! It is because moon bunnies turn white against blue backgrounds. (I like your explanation better though.)

January 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/heathermagoo

Imgur :D:D:D Bon appetit! Re-reading this post inspired me to go back to my original avatar (actually it's a pretty good likeness)

January 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnIsAPandah

My sibling's icon being the exception, but only because she changes it so very often that I look forward to what's coming next. Well that was fun... maybe I'll do it again :P

January 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

I'm glad it was a pleasant surprise for you! :) Thanks for your kind words!

December 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TatianaBoshenka

Alexis, I kept reading your name as AlexLinguist and thought you were a male. Your new picture reminds me of one of my favorite writers so now I imagine you devastatingly brilliant like her. Well, the string of flags after your name contributed to that too, I think. =D

December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/matthewfbyrnes

The problem with only reading the beginnings of words: I sometimes confuse "AlexisLinguist" with "alexinIreland."

December 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sigmacharding

Alexinireland is also quiet young :)

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3586143

December 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MusingThoughts

So do I!

December 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

Ha ha, devastatingly brilliant, I like that. ;) Thanks!

December 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankySka
Mod
  • 2269

I should stop being surprised about people being so young… but I still am! Nice to see their faces- they are some of my fav mods too :-)

December 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/raans
  • 2206

I'm sorry to chime in... but yes, you're right! By transitivity ([Usagi, Lexi] -> You -> Me) that makes me 5 years younger (alright 3).

But seriously, keep up the great work (this, Franky, also includes you — I see your hard work on es/de tree every day!)!

dd2927a3e0

December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankySka
Mod
  • 2269

"youth by association" I like the idea XD

December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/raans
  • 2206

Yes! I had to make it sound more complicated. :)

December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

@Franky lol!

December 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

Huh? (scratches head at your age math)

December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/raans
  • 2206

Yeah, huh. (A bit twisted. It made more sense when I wrote it down. Have to re-think. Results to be expected soon™. Not an A/B test.) :)

December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TanagerMoonmist

I subconsciously think of people as their avatars... somehow seeing they are real people with real faces always feels weird and unexpected!

I have mixed feelings about having my own photo as an avatar. While I use one on Twitter and Facebook, I don't feel comfortable using it on other sites. But thankfully I have a cute dog and use his photos everywhere!

December 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lavinae

It's always great to be able to link a name to a face!
That way, I remember usernames better and communication feels more personal.
Nice to meet you face to face, Alexis and Usagi! :)

I'm personally a bit reluctant to use a real picture on websites, because the pictures you put out there never really disappear. You can't really prevent people from copying your picture either (before, when I had a personalized owl image as an avatar on Duolingo, it was copied and used by several people... ._.).

That being said, I trust that most people visiting Duolingo do not intend to steal identities or pictures. We all like one thing, and that's studying languages. So I would think that being anonymous is more of a concern on other websites, luckily..... :)

Haha, wishful thinking, perhaps, who knows... o.o

December 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jayway223

I ended up putting myself as my own avatar because of cough Lexi cough. I don't know why I keep it up because I am hideous. :P I shall be back in tree form in January. I do miss my apples...

December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/matthewfbyrnes

¡You're not hideous!

December 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jayway223

¡Gracias!

December 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/heathermagoo

I admire them both so much and was thrilled with their pictures (and the recording, wow! Original thinker). I put up my own picture to show support but it was so hard switching back and forth from a teddybear to a girl that I was afraid I might get stuck. So it's fuzzy ears and a blue ribbon till next Christmas just to be on the safe side.

December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

I'm glad you gave it a go! I was having some trouble the last few days with pictures getting stuck. So, I get that. Thanks for the support! :D

December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ReidHT

I always assumed Usagi was Asian, and the reason why was because of this post. Since I couldn't see his face, he just kind of looked like that to me...

I couldn't decide if Alexis was a boy or a girl at first, because I thought her name was Alex-Is-Linguist.

Anyway, I myself like to use cat pictures as my profile pictures, because I like cats more than I do myself. (Just kidding! I just really like cats.)

December 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doosier

Revealing identity takes true courage, and I admire the two moderators who were courageous/brave enough to reveal their identity. Honestly, this picture is quite new, so I am unsure if I will change my avatar... but yes, I do prefer anonymity, as I like to keep real life and Duolingo separated/apart. After all, only about 3 to 4 people in the world (real life, excluding family) know that I am who I am on Duolingo.

December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/makiminami

I will admit that when Alexis told me she was going to change her picture around Christmas, I almost decided to put a picture of myself up a few weeks before she actually did. Luckily, it turned out the wrong way and I took it down before anyone could say anything, so I remain mostly a mysterious, faceless lurker. (Though some other sneaky lurker might have seen a glimpse of my face)

Anyway, it's nice to get to see the true selves of others! It helps us avoid confusions (when I first found the site and Alexis in the forums, of course I thought her name was Alex is Linguist, that she was as young as alexinIreland, and was a fan of Lotso) and helps us get to know them a little more personally! (after realizing she was a woman after a profile update that said she was a woman, I never thought of her as African-American and I never truly imagined Usagi as genderqueer until I saw their picture, although I still get confused with the "boy" part [even thinking of it as a last name] and think of them as "he/him/his")

Obviously, I prefer anonymity and don't want to reveal my face again anytime soon (I will tell you I am very young and at my age, the Internet is very dangerous) but I still think revealing your picture is a very brave thing to do.

December 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

I'm glad you're practicing internet safety. Truly, the internet is dangerous for people of all ages. I think it is slightly more dangerous for younger folks because the internal warning system hasn't had as much time to develop yet and people take advantage of that. For instance, if you are young and someone asks you what your parent's do for a living, that should be a major red flag. And there are a ton of things like that, that people haven't thought of unless they are trying to hurt people or have had people try to hurt them (or have had someone else alert them to). I have a pretty developed warning system because of being a street kid for a lot of years, but, it's definitely failed me before and in some big ways. I'm very lucky to be alive and I no longer feel immortal. If doing something makes you feel unsafe, pay attention to what that feeling is telling you, because it can improve your life chances. :)

December 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SkillsInPills

I knew that Alexis was black (I wonder if like her family is Haitian since she wants to learn Haitian Creole) and I kinda figured that UsagiBoy wasn't Asian...I thought he was like a Sailor Moon fan, lol.

December 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

Sailor Moon's Tsukino Usagi is a character for whom I hold a deep and abiding appreciation. She is not the sole inspiration for my username, but, she certainly played a part in building a positive association for the name. If I could have such a big heart and enduring strength of character that she has (especially in the manga), I wouldn't be ashamed for it. I am a strong believer that when it comes to icons, gender should not limit who we are allowed to look up to. :)

December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

No, my family is not Haitian. :)

December 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SkillsInPills

Oh ok, it's a cool language choice nonetheless :)

December 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

Mèsi. :)

December 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TatianaBoshenka

At first I read Usagiboy as being something or other in Japanese, but then realized it could be parsed as USA GI boy which gave me a different picture of him. Glad to see his human face!

December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

That's a pretty common interpretation of my name, actually. However, it is indeed "Usagi", the Japanese word for rabbit. :)

December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sashaax

I am a very open person, so no worries.. no * hidden idendity... so trueeee! I always imagined @Bunny * Usagi as a mysterious person cause he never actually talked about himself!! ♥ but first where is the * information* that you just discovered?? and the profile picture? I want to know about @Bunny8s hidden identity!

January 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CharmingTiger

¡Llegas muy tarde! ¡El conejito ha vuelto para quedarse! Por lo menos, lo creo que sí...

January 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sashaax

why too late?

January 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CharmingTiger

Unless Bunneh decides to change it back at some point. It's up to them, just as it's up to you if you want to change your picture to something other than your midriff.

January 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sashaax

it's okay. Thanks.

January 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vedney

Before I ever used my face in my profile, I always used a picture of me, but only cropped to my pants (head to toe). I did it because I found it a bit funny and I didn't even have a phone at the time.

December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SilasWolfe

I'm not hidden at all see? (my name)

April 26, 2017
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