Have you aged out of the profile picture you use to identify yourself on social media?
Come on, tell the truth. Is your Facebook picture you, or a version of you? Are you older/fatter/balder/thinner, maybe browner/grayer/blonder/wrinklier than your avatar? Or do you think you look the same as you did on that vacation um, many many moons ago?
This pic here is a favorite, and I use it a lot, partly because of where I was (Lake Winnipesaukee Sandy Island), who I was with, my fam, how I felt (alone on a beach with a book), with a real smile, you can tell by my eyes.
The fact that those glasses are probably 1.25 cheaters and now I wear bifocals shouldn’t matter. Or should it? I recognize myself in that picture, but I’m not sure anyone else would.
Which is why I needed to update my avatar, the little picture used to identify little ol’ me on social media, my blog, and my bio for other publications.
For years and years and years I used this candid bathroom mom-shot: moms everywhere could relate:
Except the 90s and Y2K are history, yet the image remained as my virtual identity. Branding wise, sheer brilliance, until I went and got old, the hairdryer caught fire, phone became obsolete, and the kids, well, they grew up.
While perfect for my parenting blog, my return-to-work-mom essays, it ran into a little problem when I wrote about condoms, or how blow-jobs-are-sex, and who in their right mind would want to stab these lovelies with a fork?
My profile picture was outdated and selling false goods
I was a lie and I knew it when I began going to writing and blogging conferences. At the workshops, I got to meet writers and bloggers IRL (in real life) after years of supporting and friending each other virtually. And it was awesome.
Except many writers and bloggers, too many, looked WAAAAAAAAYYYY different from their avatar.
Like Tinder horror show different.
Like high school yearbook different.
Like Facebook wishful thinking different.
Like the before in every before photo shoot ever taken
Like Glamour Shots different.
Which was not fair, to me or to them, to keep our faces to ourselves.
I want people to know me, not a memory of who I used to be, and I them. I don’t want to be blindsided by forty years of kodak truth (camera/film reference for any millennials, ask the ‘rents) when we meet face-to-face, because Facebook told me one thing, but the face in front of me told another.
That’s why I attempted to recreate my avatar with that same working mom I can bring home the bacon and flat-iron her hair attitude, but somehow, it doesn’t work quite as well, and the little dog knew it:
My writing has evolved, much like me. The stories are different, the message often the same, but time and age changes perception.
I will keep updating my image to reflect where I am today, or thereabouts, so what you see is what you get, and no one should feel bamboozled at a virtual bait and switch.
NaBloPoMo National Blog Posting Month posting one entry every day for November, and this concludes my vain approach to jumpstart my writing. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK you to everyone who didn’t unfollow me, and even to those who did.
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Appreciate your eyes on my words, and your time in my heart. See you around town, or on the big fat internet. xo
Okay, I needed this today. I’ve been putting it off, and it’s time to update. Thanks, great post. GREAT.
This definitely made me think about how my own blog will need to evolve once I am done with the small children phase.
Yep, definitely on the list. Mostly my hair is completely different. I’m sporting a perm in my profile picture but my hair is naturally straight and now it’s long on top of that so a very different look. Nudging it up the list. Thanks!
That dang list!!
It is about time to update. I put it off so many times.
Indeed, we need our viewers to know us now, not our versions. This is a way of real presentation of ourselves. The more honest we are, the easier we can build trust with the customers.
Love the family pics in the post.
Have a nice weekend!
thx! good luck with the update
I admit it. I’ve been too lazy to change it and can give you tons of reasons why I don’t have the time to get a new photo done. I was surprised when I met a woman who was surprised that I didn’t have red hair when she met me in person. I’ve never had red hair, but I could see how she might see it as red from my photo. I guess it’s time and this goes on my goal list for early 2017. Thanks for the reminder, Kate.
Good luck, thx for the read!!
Nope. That first picture is the woman I see…she’ll still be there when you’re 90…