Your Facebook Pic May Say All the Wrong Things About You

me on facebookDid you know that the comments under your Facebook profile picture say a lot about how the world sees you? That, and the photo itself, show how physically, socially, and professionally attractive we are to other people. You're judged more by that photo and the comments than by anything else on your Facebook page.

Maybe it's time to take down those bathing suit shots? University of Minnesota doctoral student Seoyeon Hong and Professor Kevin Wise say what other people say about you seems to matter more than how you present yourself. When people are checking you out, they want to see what other people think of you, too.


My Facebook profile pic just has a handful of "likes" plus a couple comments: "Hott" and "fritt froo!" Those are just sweet, jokey comments from IRL friends. I guess what that says about me is... I only "friend" people I can trust to be super nice to me online? My privacy settings are high -- or so I think -- and I only allow friends to comment anywhere. (I do also have a public Facebook page where I post some of my Stir posts, though.)

More from The Stir: 10 Surefire Ways to Be That Obnoxious Facebook Friend

So far so good, I guess. Though I did have more comments on my previous profile pic, which showed me in a faux leopard-print coat drinking champagne: 10 comments, all positive, though mostly about the coat. Upstaged by my coat! I guess that's better than the profile pic before that:


Anyway, the comments matter, but the social cues you send out matter, too. Social cues would be things like that leopard print coat, or your favorite Frisbee, or your 10,000-foot yacht. These props in the photo tell people what you're all about. Turns out that information is also really helpful.

Maybe my profile pic should have more than just my head? Right now all it seems to be saying is that I know that sunglasses go on my face, and that I'm probably not a vampire. You can't even tell that I'm at the top of the Griffiths Observatory in Los Angeles (not that that would say much about me, since I don't actually live in Los Angeles).

I kind of want to change my profile pic, now! To something that says a little more about me -- and that will also net me a bunch of nice comments from my friends, natch. Maybe a photo of me grilling on my roof deck? And now that I think of it, maybe my Stir Facebook profile pic should show something other than a donut? That kind of says a little too much about me.

What do you think your Facebook profile pic says about you?


Images via Adriana Velez



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