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An expat’s confusion about fake profile on WeChat

expat in china, wechat, Ashley Nowka

As an expat, I have learned to love, and even rely on WeChat.

作为外籍人士,我已经学会了爱上微信这个聊天工具,甚至都离不开它了。

With features like "translate," I have been able to have conversations with friends I wouldn't have been able to make without the app.

通过一些翻译软件,我就能和朋友们在微信上聊天。如果没有这款应用,我可能也不会认识这些朋友。

I have also found jobs, things for sale, apartments for rent, and even social events to attend.

在微信上,我甚至能找工作、发现打折商品、租房,以及参加一些社交活动。

I had never heard of WeChat before I moved to Beijing.

但在我到北京生活以前,我从来都不知道微信。

Now, I think it will be hard to go back to a life without WeChat when I return home someday. This is definitely one app that other countries are missing out on, but there are a few things I don't understand about the way Chinese people use the app.

现在,我想,如果某天我回到故乡,可能会很难适应没有微信的生活。这绝对是一款被其它国家所忽视的应用。不过,关于微信我还是有一些疑问:我不太理解中国人玩微信的方式。

The first thing I noticed is how a lot of people seem to have fake locations listed as their own.

我注意到的第一件事是,有相当多的人的所在地似乎都是编造的,不真实的。

After meeting a new friend who told me she lived in Beijing, we exchanged WeChat IDs. The next day, I scrolled through my contacts to find her but couldn't. While searching, I stumbled upon several contacts I had added that now had unrecognizable pictures and strange locations. I narrowed it down and eventually found her; I was confused because her location said Dublin, Ireland, not Beijing as I had expected. I am not sure how she even picked that to be her location.

我认识了一位新朋友,她告诉我她住在北京,我们互留了微信号。第二天,我翻遍了我的好友希望能找到她,但是找不到。在搜索的过程中。我偶然发现有几个好友的头像我都不认识,他们的所在地也很奇怪。我缩小查找范围,终于找到她了。但让我不解的是,她的所在地是爱尔兰的都柏林,而不是我以为的北京。我不明白她为何把地点设置在那里。

Maybe it would make sense if she were from a small town that was not listed in the app, but choosing an entirely different country as one's location seems strange. This seems to be a trend in China, along with fake profile pictures.

如果她是来自一个小地方,这款软件上查不出的地方,那倒也可以理解。但她写着一个完全不同的国家,却非常让人奇怪。这看起来像是中国的一个新潮流,同样如此的还有那些假头像。

Fake profile pictures are nothing new when it comes to representing yourself online. Usually, they are either Photoshopped or are not photographs of the account holder at all.

网上的假头像早已不是什么新鲜事了。通常,不是将个人照片PS,就是放一些压根就不是本人的照片。

Why do people use fake profile pictures to talk to people who know what they really look like anyway?

为何人们要用假头像去交流,而事实上对方都知道他们长什么样。

I have made friends, swapped WeChat IDs, and been confused when the person before me looks nothing like the image used as their profile picture.

我也曾交了一些朋友,加为微信好友,然后就一直很困惑:站在我面前的人怎么和头像上的一点也不像。

This also happens to me when I am responding to job posts. I will be talking to a person I think is a blonde woman only to discover through their use of broken English that I am not talking to the person in the picture.

当我找工作时也会出现这种情况。我以为将要和我交流的是一位金发美女,然而听到那蹩脚的英语,我才知道她不是头像上那个人。

Is there no shame in using fake pictures here?

用那些假头像,不感到惭愧吗?

For now, I will just assume that the people I meet on WeChat are not from where they say they are and that I am not talking to the person in the picture. I wish more people were proud of where they come from and what they look like. It is good to be comfortable in one's own skin.

现在,我常常会假定,微信上的好友并不是来自于他们所显示的地方,并且和我聊天上的那个人,也不是头像上的样子。不过我也希望有更多的人为自己所在的城市、为自己真实的样子感到自豪。 做真实的自己,才最自在。

2016-06-22

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