You know that phrase, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’? It’s SO last century, isn’t it.
In the online world of 2015 this needs radically updating, and my humble suggestion would be, ‘Don’t judge a profile by its pic’. Because that’s what you and everyone else does, and someone somewhere is judging you by yours right now.
Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Grindr or God-knows-whatsapp, your avatar, or your profile pic, is saying a lot about you. Perhaps more than you realise, and people are making decisions about you based on yours.? It’s standard practise now for employers to research potential candidates on social media before offering them anything too juicy, analysing their profiles and examining them for clues on personality or behaviour not revealed within a CV. Everything is taken into consideration, even the photo; body language, location, distance from camera, use of props. Is the photo even of a person? Are they relaxed or posed? Sitting creates a different impression to standing, eye contact is seen as more honest, and posing with a pet, a friend or alone, each puts different ideas into someone’s head.
Take mine for example. It would be crap if I wanted a job. A face half hidden suggests I’d like to remain anonymous but may be too egotistical or self-centred to hide my face completely. It gives the impression I keep my cards close to my chest, but occasionally flash a hint of the real me. Maybe I’m a private person who simply knows the importance of making a connection. Maybe I have a sensitive ‘proper job’. Maybe all of the above are probably true. But you don’t need an ‘ology’ or a business degree to make these kinds of assumptions. We’re all doing it, every day.
It all comes down to the sub-conscious idea that everyone shows off what they love. If your main photo shows your baby, puppy, or new motorbike, you are making a public declaration of what’s most important to you. If it’s a logo, an inspirational quote or a cartoon, we know the kind of updates we can expect. If your picture is sideways or poorly cropped, we know you’re careless or can’t be arsed, and if it’s faded by age, we know that not only are you older than you look but also that you are embarrassed about it. But even that would be better than nothing.
It took me months on Twitter before I realised that users declaring ‘NO EGGS’ were saying they would only deal with people with an uploaded profile photo. Up until then, I’d taken it to be a heterophobic term for gays unwilling to converse with females. Remember, it’s SOCIAL media. The clue is in the title. People WANT to see your face. Many gay guys chose to present themselves by quite literally putting it all on display, desperate to win friends by forcing their giblets upon you in avatar form. I’m sorry, but if you present yourself to the world as an arse or a cock then that is exactly what I think you are. And I’m sure there is more to you than that.
Of course, some people remain anonymous for a reason. Those wishing to troll or be hateful, need to stay hidden because they are bullies and cowards, whilst on the other end of the spectrum some individuals are so selfless that all their efforts, including their photo, goes towards promoting a charitable cause. You, I applaud. And if you’re hiding your face because you are embarrassed, scared or ashamed of who you are, then I truly hope social media allows you to find the friends and support you need to become comfortable in your skin.
But if you are online without an agenda, if you simply want people to truly know you, or want to attract something more than just cocks and arses, if you want to find friends, romance, or a job opportunity, you can’t do better than a simple picture of your smiling face. Or just your smiley eyes (they’re the windows to the soul, after all). In a world which assumes your profile photo is announcing what you love and are most proud of, there is nothing more attractive than someone presenting their own beautiful selves. Make YOU your photo and watch them come running . Or, to borrow the well-known phrase of a Drag Queen Goddess I admire; Honey, if you can’t love yourself, then how in the Hell you gonna love anybody else.
Can I get an Amen?