While judging a book by its cover continues to be a crime punishable by death, the picture you choose as your Facebook profile could mean the death of your persona.
Think about it, your profile picture is most likely the only content available to the general public. High school classmates, second cousins and psycho ex-girlfriends don’t even need to poke you to have their square inch visual preview into your life. Remember that whole saying about a picture saying a thousand words? Well once you’ve uploaded it onto the old cyber ‘Book, you can multiply that number by a million. I don’t want to make you self-conscious or anything, but there’s a high likelihood that you’re embarrassing yourself in a billion different ways at this very moment.
Since I care about your social life more than you’ll ever know, my hope is that this column will help you cut down on the aforementioned value-of-shame. Please use the following scientific guide as a tool in decoding profile pictures to not only best encapsulate your own online essence but to judge the crap out of your cyber friends and foes.
If These Profile Pics Could Talk
The Party Pic
These images usually contain 1 part human, 3 parts liquor. If your showcase picture has you holding a pint glass/pitcher/shot glass with eyes that are glazed over/closed/mid-blink you’re in desperate need of a cyber makeover. At this point, half of the people you went to nursery school with are already deliberating on whether or not your bottles were spiked. You’re gonna want to remedy this sloppy situation by posting a “dignified” picture pronto. An appropriate quick fix would be any pictures of a freshly showered you using a calculator, riding a horse or using a calculator while riding a horse.
The Slutty Pic
If I can tell whether you’re an innie or an outtie from outside of your cyber network, you’re outta control. I don’t care if it was a spontaneous shot taken during Mardi Gras or if you were practically a nun compared to the other strippers/tourists or if the light was perfectly shining through a crisscrossed grate making the pattern of abs on your belly…your picture is practically screaming, “Look at me!” `if you’re still not clear on whether or not you’re making good first impressions, try meeting strangers by tucking the bottom of your shirt into its neck hole during rush hour on the subway.
The Pet Pic
While I can identify with the psychotic level of love a pet owner has for their little hairballs, it doesn’t take away from the fact that it can be psychotic. If you’re representing yourself online by posting a close up of your dog/kitten/lama you may as well change your status to “Reader is the loneliest person on your friends list and smells like hamster shavings” (your name is Reader, right?)
We get it, you’ve been places. While there’s nothing wrong with posting a picture of your recent vacation there’s something creepily wrong with perpetually displaying that one image of you next to the Eiffel Tower taken in 1998. While you may think you’re fooling everyone into thinking your either a globetrotter or the first person to rent out a portion of the Eiffel Tower you’re accomplishing neither. Instead, your neon windbreaker and the “Prepare For Y2K” patch sewn to your backpack have dated this picture so obviously it may as well have a sun bleached tint and bent corners. To any old friends that looked you up wondering what’s new and exciting, wonder no more. The answer’s written all over your profile picture: absolutely nothing!