Expressing yourself in profile pictures

Friday, November 26, 2010

Growing up, I was always taught that I shouldn't care what others think of me. However, today that idea sits a little differently.

With employers now scouting future employees and family members checking out your every move on Facebook, it's important to be aware of how others are perceiving you.

In an comedic article by Andrea Bartz and Brenna Ehrlich on CNN, readers are taught how to avoid portraying themselves as "tools" on Facebook.

We all pick unflattering photos. The point is to be aware, to decide how you want to be portrayed and to act on it. To avoid being hypocritical, I will show my own profile pictures as examples.

The "MySpace" shot – This is when a person photographs himself or herself. According to Bartz and Ehrlich, the "MySpace Shot" occurs when "men pose shirtless in front of their bathroom mirrors and women pout into their boobs."

While it may draw attention to your "assets," having this picture may make others think you're vain.

Subbing in an inanimate object/pet/baby – Your friends want to see a picture of you, not a "crude drawing of a dinosaur," Bartz and Ehrlich say.

Liquoring up – If you want to be seen as a professional, avoid drunken pictures or pictures partying.

Group shots – Once again, people want to see you. Don't hide behind your friends, Bartz and Ehrlich say.

Furthermore, you may meet someone and want to add them on Facebook. When searching, it's more difficult to find who your looking for when the person uses a group profile picture.

– Finally, the Holiday or wedding pics ... months after the wedding – Having a profile picture of you in your Halloween costume for weeks is overkill, Bartz and Ehrlich say.

"The same goes for wedding photos," Bartz and Ehrlich say. "It's really nice that you got married, and we all pored through every shot from the ceremony, but leaving up a portrait of you in full bridal garb for several months is akin to shoving your ring in your friends' faces daily."

Adding to this, breaking out the senior pictures when you are a junior in college seems a bit ridiculous.

So what's left, you ask? Although this article seems to be telling people what they can and can't have as profile pictures, I think the point was to make people aware.

I don't completely agree with all of these rules. For example, I don't see anything wrong with having my profile picture be of my adorable niece. I love her. There's nothing wrong with showing it.

The main idea is to keep your profile picture tasteful. Also, keep it appropriate if you think your employer will be seeing it.

In the end, it's your decision. It's your profile. You can display whatever picture you want. However, remember this picture is for everyone to see.


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