DISCLAIMER: This post is sure to offend anyone and everyone, and quite frankly I don’t care. I’ve been storing this one in the deepest, darkest caverns of my brain for quite a while now and it has to get out.
We’ve all seen this. Many of us may even have a contact with this for their profile picture on Facebook, LinkedIN, Myspace (I know … who still uses Myspace?), Meetup, or any of the other hundreds of social network sites out there. When a person chooses to not have a profile picture on any given online profile, they are suggesting a few very specific things about themselves, all of which are the antithesis of being “social”:
#1 It implies you feel you are horrible to look at.
I told you this might be offensive, but ultimately when someone does not have a profile photo on Facebook or LinkedIN (or whatever), an initial (and terribly material) assumption is that the person thinks of him or herself as being less than attractive. Maybe you’re a woman with a full beard; possibly you’re a man for whom the size of your entire face is roughly 1/8th the size of your nose. Perhaps you are just like the rest of us going into our thirties and wondering when, exactly, the break-outs are actually going to stop. To not have a photo of some kind on your profile, though, suggests that you have something you want to hide. I think this would apply much more to a dating site, and in fact I recently saw an article suggesting that if a person has no or waist-up-only photo of themselves on eHarmony, Match, etc., that they will usually be passed for fear that they will break every mirror in your house. It’s still true, faithful blog followers: we live in a material world and are all a bunch of material girls.
#2 It further implies that if you are not horrible to look at, you are terribly narcissistic and paranoid.
Here is something one of my family members recently said to me in regards to his choice to have no profile photo on his Meetup.com homepage: “I don’t want all kinds of perverts and predators looking at my picture; the last thing I need is a stranger getting off on my photo.” Let’s first give you a mental picture of this family member: he is in his mid-50s, roughly 250 lbs, generally wears khaki shorts and flannels everywhere he goes, and spends the majority of his time drinking Coors, playing video poker, and scratching his unkempt mustache. So my first response to this is that he should be so lucky to have anyone looking at his photographs online obsessively with the fires of lust burning below the keyboard. My second is simply: how, exactly, would complete strangers swooning over your oh-so-debonair picture affect you anyway? Lastly, this reeks of a paranoid narcissism; as if the entire world is out to find pictures of you, not to mention they are all looking for those pictures to lust after you. With over 800 million people on Facebook alone, not including the number of people on any number of the 200 or more social and dating networks out there, I have a hard time believing many people are intentionally sought out to be the victims of pervs anymore. There’s free pornography for that.
Anyone who legitimately fits into #s 1 or 2 (as in, they actually do not post profile photos of themselves for one or both of these reasons) needs to be smacked in the face and told to get over themselves. And in fact, of the people I know who do not post photographs of themselves on their online profiles, many of them refrain from doing so for reasons similar to these. There are a few more things that the vacant slot in the photograph slot suggests, though:
#3 You are too goddamn inept to figure out how to upload a jpeg. Very possibly you do not even know what a jpeg is.
#4 You are too goddamn inept to even log in to your profile page again after signing up.
#5 You think you are above social networking and online living, despite the fact that it has been credited as being essential for living (and working) in the 21st century. (I really hate these pompous assholes. I really, really do.)
#6 You really and truly believe that you are too busy to scour through your millions of digital photographs for that perfect shot that captures who you are. For Christ’s sakes, if anyone on the social network thought this much about their profile picture, the world would have a dearth of crappy, fuzzy, and poorly taken (read: camera phone pointed at mirror, tilted sideways) pictures for us all to make fun of. Get over yourselves, you aren’t too busy to snap a picture and upload it. No episode of Dancing With the Stars is that thought-consuming.
Shall I continue? I think you get the point. Having no profile photograph at all is just plain obnoxious, and it implies quite a bit about you that me-thinks you’d rather not have implied. Now, I’m not saying that this is necessarily what the case may be when a person chooses to go photo-less; but it most certainly is what us ignorant underlings of Lord Zuckerberg and his buddies over at Google, LinkedIN, et all have conditioned us to assume.
Next up on the docket? Keep Your Kid’s Diapers Off Facebook
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