I recently rejoined Facebook.
Why? At the time, it seemed like a good idea. I've discovered, however, that it's easily as annoying as reality TV. I guess it sort of is reality TV. People put their lives out on display via status updates and photo albums for the world to see.
One thing I've noticed is many people with their Facebook persona have "the pose" for their avatar. I'm sure you've seen which one I'm referring to. It's the one obviously taken at arm's length, at about forehead height, pointing downwards. It makes their forehead look really big, and their cheeks and chins impossibly skinny.
What's up with that?
I mean, not everyone has that picture as their profile pic. Lots of people use pictures of their kids. Some use very nice pictures of themselves. Others, like me, tend to use photos of random objects (that reminds me, time to update my photo...).
The picture, however, is a reflection of who we portray ourselves to be to the outside world. It's like Facebook is this huge social experiment where we are trying on different identities with our friends and associates.
I wonder what identity is shown in "the pose"? Who are they, or rather, who are they trying to be? I know the "me" on Facebook is only a small part of who I am, a pithy and cleverly-edited version of myself. ::smiles:: The "random objects" of my avatar are actually elements of my life that are precious to me: the statue from our trip to Regina; a flower from our first camping trip as a family; the stick garden Rachael and I planted as the long winter slowly melted into spring.
In our larger life, who are trying to be? I wonder if who I portray myself as to others is in fact who I am. Sometimes I wonder if that person is simply who I would rather be.
So back to "the pose". Who are they trying to be? Should I be concerned that probably 50% of my "friends" on Facebook are all trying to be the same person? I worry about the judgments I make about my friends and family by their profile pictures and their status updates. What does it say about us a society where we all take pictures of ourselves that make us look slightly like space aliens with sunken cheeks and pointy chins?
Do we even know for ourselves?