Why Your Profile Picture is Destroying America (Kind of)

Why Your Profile Picture is Destroying America (Kind of)

I recently attended a meet-up for an organization where I had only met a handful of the members in person. I'd been very active in our Facebook group, so I figured I would be hard to miss! When I arrived and introduced myself, a couple of my new buddies commented that I didn’t look like my profile picture from Facebook. I didn’t take offense to this as I hadn’t brushed my hair in approximately three weeks and hadn't bothered with makeup due to the temperature outside being set to "lava." I think you could probably even see a line of sweat on the bum crack of my jeans if you'd looked hard enough. 

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Walking from Cafe Medici to the East Campus Garage left me alone with my hilarious thoughts, and my mind wandered back to this interaction. There's a lot of conversation about how we portray ourselves on Social Media, and I'm here to tell you, of course, I don’t look like my profile picture! I don’t want my friends to know my "real" personality and I don’t want people to know what I really look like either!

If I could get away with wearing a George Bush mask around town, I would (that handsome devil). The truth is, it is just too damn hot to run around in costume all the time! Plus, I might miss the elusive albino squirrel! How am I supposed to get a degree without him (or her); hey, I’m not one to assume squirrel gender. In this heat, I have to be practical despite my increasing desire to wear my old squirrel costume around campus. Yes, I seriously own a squirrel costume (sadly it’s too big now).

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I do not do my makeup anymore before coming to class, and sadly, I am not the beautiful being that's photo shopped and filtered to no end as seen in my profile pics. When I emerged from my cozy cocoon, I didn’t come out a monarch butterfly. No, I appeared as a moth plagued with Irish skin and a unibrow. I have to admit, I wish I could still grow a unibrow for comedic purposes, but eyebrow wigs will have to suffice. 

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More seriously, it got me to thinking about how we view one another on social media and how we portray ourselves, not just in photos but our posts as well. Some people only gush about how great their life is and share only photos that make them look their best, while others may share posts complaining about how no one is "real" on Facebook and have cat albums that put Angela Martin to shame. And then there's the person who comments in all caps. Or scarier yet, the silent type who is stalking you sinisterly from Russia. Hey, we all have our thing. 

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I don’t think there’s anything wrong with representing the best version of yourself, hiding your face behind a cat, or if you are the ACTUAL logo for the Chicago Bears. You should feel free to express yourself in any way you like and vice versa. Especially on social media where we already have so many other things to deal with, such as untagging ourselves in those Dirty 6th photos we don't want grandma to see. Joke is on us, we went to bed at 4, and she was up at 5. Damage is already done. 

My point is, do what makes you happy! That is unless what makes you happy is riding your scooter or bike on the sidewalk next to the bike lane during rush hour. In that case, you should take a long look in the mirror and ask why you want to watch the world burn.

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