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A Guide To Facebook Profile Pictures

According to the statistics, we spend around twenty minutes on Facebook per day. Speak for yourself. Triple that estimate and you’re closer to my own average. In the past year I seem to have developed a new affliction; I sit at a computer and before I know it my fingers are on auto-pilot and my Facebook homepage pops up invitingly before my eyes, simply begging me to indulge in hours of futile stalking. It is due to this obsession with online social networking that the Facebook Profile Picture has become an indispensible presentation of yourself to the outside world. It is true that the Profile Picture says a lot of about you, so careful selection is crucial.

Your first option is the aesthetically pleasing photo. After all, wanting the world to think you’re beautiful is nothing to be ashamed of. I’m thinking…black and white photo, wide eyed and coyly peeking out from under your eyelashes, dressed up for a night out, drinking but not yet drunk, smiling but not too much. Or the old MySpace classic; arm outstretched holding the camera above you, head tilted down and heavily made-up eyes closed in an expression of troubled contemplation.

Perhaps the wild look is more your style; you could choose a photo of you jumping elegantly, yet ‘insanely’ into the air, with the backdrop of a perfect beach that screams ‘crazy gap year escapades, don’t ask…’ Or the funny fancy dress effort will ensure onlookers will appreciate your wild side; a photo of you cross-dressing, or kitted out as your favourite super-hero never fails.

If you’re in the process of applying for jobs, be aware of potential employers perusing your profile for signs of unsuitability. In this case choose a photo that says ‘I’m reliable, hard-working and sensible.’ Remove the photo of you from last Friday slumped faced down on the floor, accompanied by a questionable puddle by your open mouth and perhaps replace it with your demure Graduation photo.

Then again maybe the elusive and inviting ‘?’ accompanying your name will leave people desperate to know more about you. On the other hand it could lead people to the conclusion you’ve got absolutely no mates, so no one takes any pictures of you.

And after all this the question still remains, how many is too many? I can conclude that over a hundred profile pictures leaves you in the unchartered territory of self-centred vanity. Even better to keep the tally below twenty to give the impression of a modest, unassuming and approachable individual.

Hattie Hamilton

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