Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words

If you’re reading this blog post, chances are you’ve taken the Twitter plunge. Maybe you’re an aspiring author, using Twitter to get your name out there. Possibly you’re a comedian, testing out your material on the masses. Or, perhaps, you’re a porn bot, trying to convince desperate men to pay $9.99 a month to watch an endless supply of dirty videos.

Regardless of our reason for tweeting, we all want to make a good impression. And the first impression is the most important. It can affect the relationship that follows. It’s true. I promise. I’ll even prove it through an example. 

A guy wearing orange Crocs struts over to a beautiful woman at a bar and says, “Excuse me, did you just fart? Because you blew me away.” 

The beautiful woman glares at him. “Ew, you creep, get lost! And the next time you go out on a Friday night don’t wear Crocs. We aren’t at a community pool, and you aren’t five years old.” 

The poor guy hangs his head and shuffles away, the rubber soles of his crocs squeaking on the tiled floor. 

He’ll never get a second chance.

Unlike the guy wearing Crocs and the beautiful woman at the bar, we tweeters don’t always have a face-to-face first meeting. We have to rely on our profile pictures to make the first impression. Sure, people will explore our Twitter pages and read through our tweets, but they see our profile pictures first, and that’s how they determine whether we’re weird—it’s a pretty infallible method, too. 

I might’ve just made some of you insecure. Maybe you’re questioning your profile picture now, wondering if it falls into the weird category. If you are, then you’re probably okay. Weirdos usually think they’re normal and don’t question their bizarre behavior. But, just in case, I’ll share a variety of good and bad avatars (That’s the hip name for profile pictures.) and tell you what others might think of them. This may help you determine where yours fits in. 

I’ll begin with a profile picture of a woman’s back. Some guys might look at this and say, “Whoa, check out that luscious, blonde hair. Hot! Is that a Victoria Secret robe she’s got on? Ohhh yeah, it is. That means she’s wearing a thong—I know it! I bet she’d have sex with me.”
Then the blonde swivels around, and she looks like this--------------------------->

When people use the back of their heads as profile pictures, I assume their faces are absolutely horrifying—if they have faces—or they’re in the witness protection program and must hide their identity. 

In my opinion, a hidden-face avatar is only acceptable when the face isn’t completely concealed. Below is an example of one that works. I can tell this girl is fun. She has a funky hairstyle and a unique picture. If we were to hang out on a Friday night, we’d probably get something to eat, see a movie, and then drive to my ex-husband’s house and stick feminine napkins on every inch of his car—if I had an ex-husband, that is. But if my assessment is wrong and she’s nuts, I can see enough face to identify her in a line up.

“The eyes are the window to the soul.” Okay, but that doesn’t mean I want to see an up close picture of your moist, veiny, vulnerable eyeball. Great. Now I’m envisioning a needle poking through that eye’s clear membrane. Sick! I just cringed. I literally cringed. Never, I repeat, NEVER use an eyeball as your profile picture. Not only because it’s gross, but also because people will think you dissect woodland creatures or kidnap and murder women. It’s strange. Plain and simple. 

Including hobbies or interests in your profile picture is a great idea. The dapper gentleman to the left is holding a book. He’s surrounded by them. That tells me he likes to read. Hey, I like to read! And people who read are smart, right? At least that’s what I say, out loud, whenever I pick up a book. 

But don’t go overboard and display all of your interests. Especially if you’re wearing a Speedo and your interests are guns, guitars, and water weenies. This picture would work wonders on Craigslist, though. “Hey, ladies. The name’s Dirk. Wanna join me on my woven, grass mat? I picked it up in Tijuana last summer. That’s right, sister. I travel to exotic locales. I’m in a band, too—Iron Nipple. We had a gig at the Elks Lodge once—you’ve probably heard of us. I’m the one who plays the guitar. . .with my tongue. See the Glock nuzzled against my package? That’s Sasha—my baby. She’s not the only loaded weapon I know how to use. If you know what I mean.” I like Dirk. 

Moving on. 

The background of a profile picture is the setting of your story. It gives people a glimpse into your life. For instance, the fellow below is posed beside a slow-moving river. Peaceful. He must enjoy the outdoors, and I definitely appreciate that. On the weekends, I bet he goes on hikes and picks wild blackberries and then brings the berries home and bakes an organic cobbler. Although, I guess he could be the outdoorsy type who likes to kill deer with a shotgun—or his bare hands if he has rage issues. I’ll say he’s the berry picking type. 

Some locations aren’t as pleasant as the one above—like any place where hundreds of strangers urinate. I can think of only one, semi-cool reason for this guy’s public bathroom photo shoot: He’s like Jason Bourne, running from a rogue arm of the government. He has no home toilet, so he goes from public restroom to public restroom, dyeing his hair and changing into different disguises, documenting each one. But, despite it all, he keeps a smile on his face—and keeps us updated via his Twitter account, @LoneWolfLookingForAToilet. 

Everyone loves animals. They’re soft and cuddly, and they don’t judge you when you eat an entire carton of ice cream, weeping, while Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” plays on a continuous loop. 

But, if you have professional photos taken with your cat and use one as a profile picture, you love animals too much. People may even think you two are romantically involved (having sex). And you don’t want that. I hope.

Animal profile pictures aren’t always a no-no. Here’s a cute one of a young lady and her pet. I can tell she loves her doggy with his fluffy, white beard. But she doesn’t love her pooch enough to throw him in a sweater identical to her own, drive to the nearest Sears, and sit down with him for a photo shoot. 

Professional photo = No

Amateur photo = Yes 
(But I’d think twice before using any picture that includes your cat. Or your iguana. Or your snake.)

Unfortunately, I don’t have time to share all profile picture dos and don’ts—there are many—though, I’d like to think my short list helped at least one, confused soul. But if you're still not sure that your picture gives a good impression, find me on Twitter and I’ll help you out—I’m the one with the Justin Bieber avatar

1 comment:

  1. I about vomited with laughter reading about Dirk! AND I HAVE ORANGE CROCS! (Really curious to know how you knew about my Kotex decorating skills...)