I had the same Facebook profile picture for the past number of years. Five or six years if my memory is correct. The picture worked for me. Originally it was a shot from 15 years ago on my wedding day. It showed me in a suit, wearing a nice shirt and tie, and looking happy (the picture was taken after the ceremony was over so the stress balloon had deflated).
A week ago I decided to change the picture because, well, I just felt like making a change. I had changed. My life had changed. So why not the thumbnail sized picture?
That was a week ago. Since then I’ve changed the silly picture two more times and I’ll probably change it again before the week is out. No, I haven’t suddenly been overtaken by vanity but I’ve been besieged by “profile picture commentary.”
Before you start thinking that I’m acting crazy you should be aware of something that I found out… the average Facebook user changes their profile picture 18 times a year! That means at least once a month or so millions upon millions of profile pictures are being swapped out. Suddenly I don’t feel so self-centered any more.
To be clear and you get to understand the whole picture, I normally wear eyeglasses because I need them to see clearly at distances of three feet or more. So the photo I had up was of myself in eyeglasses, naturally.
Just for the heck of it I decided to put up a picture of myself without glasses. In fact it was a picture I took of myself when I was sitting in my dentist’s chair after getting my teeth worked on so I was sans-eyeglasses with big white shiny teeth front and center.
I cropped out all the dental paraphernalia as best as I could and posted the new shot. I was happy.
Then came comments from friends and relatives. “Oh, what big teeth you have.” “Nice choppers.” “Jaws!” Those were funny to me and came from friends so I was OK with them. Plus, I hadn’t made a secret out of having dental work done.
That all changed with the comment from my beloved wife. She asked me if I would please change my profile picture because, according to her, I don’t look good without eyeglasses. Since I can’t tell much difference in myself with or without glasses, and don’t much care, I said sure I’ll change the shot.
Of course I didn’t have any recent or decent shots of myself and I didn’t want to go back to the wedding picture shot.
So I took another shot of myself. This time with the eyeglasses on and with my mouth closed so my teeth wouldn’t be prominent. I cropped it and feeling OK with the results, I posted the shot. That makes two profile picture changes in one week.
For years my original profile shot just sat there like a postage stamp in the corner. You might have seen it but you never really noticed it.
Now with the second photo change came the commentary again. “Are you suddenly addicted to selfies?” “What happened to your teeth? Did you have them all pulled?”
Heaven help me but I’m thinking of changing the picture yet again. Maybe this time with a big smile and my eyeglasses resting on my top lip with my teeth seen behind them.
Or maybe I’ll just delete the picture altogether and put my old/classic/vintage 50-year old car in its place. Honestly, it looks a heck of a lot better than me — with or without glasses.