Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Underthinking Profiles

Forgive me Father, it has been over a week since my last blog. For all you faithful readers I am sure this has been an eternity, making your procrastination time empty, and for that I apologize.


What to write about though, see normally I sit idle thinking about weird and wonderful things but lately I have been rather busy, my models in my thesis are actually working, I have a delightful new lady friend and also a flat with mySky leaving my about 10 seconds a week to observe underthinking. In the last week I attended the NZIHL Skate of Origin Match, I am a pretty awesome goalie you see, the following photo was taken at said match.

My Mother and I, we should be in magazines.

Now I cropped the photo to use as my profile picture, the cropping removed my mother. It is not because I do not like my mother, in fact I am rather fond of her.
The reason for the cropping is that I believe profile photos should be a clear photo of you, for some reason a lot of people don't understand this, and come up with all sorts of weird and wonderful pictures as their profile. I shall now give some examples that irk me.

1. The Inanimate object

The point of a profile photo is to show your friends what you look like, or used to look like. Not show them the picture of something you find interesting, that is what your photo album is for. My favourite time to encounter these photos is when I am looking for an old friend with a common name. i.e. Fred Smith. There are over 500 Fred Smiths on facebook, on the first search page I found these pictures.

Is that you Fred? Did you have a haircut?

Fred? Have you been working out?
Clearly the photos above give me no further clues to whether the Fred Smith I have clicked on is my friend Fred or not. Incidentally I have no friends called Fred Smith, so there is a position vacant for anyone who is looking.

2. The Cause/Event photo

Oh these are good, I want to save the world so I will change my photo to a picture of the poster promoting the cause. Or I am going to be attending this great event that people should also attend so I will make my profile photo the advertising photo for that.

Harriet Gray (apparently)
I understand you feel strongly for you cause/event. But you do realise facebook has mechanisms for you to promote these that don't include you getting plastic surgery so you resemble a planet right?

Greg was really committed to the recycling cause.
For causes that are ongoing, you could start a facebook group or fan page, and people that are likeminded could join it, you could even invite your friends that don't feel as strongly as you to join, and continously check to see if they acceped so that next time you can guilt trip them for not caring about whales, mines, forests or whatever it is hippies like these days.

"Remember when you didn't join "Whales have feelings too", that is why Timmy is dying right now, jerk"
And for events, facebook is even more explicit in helping you promote this, there is a section for creating events its step by step, you can tell people when, where, and why the event is happening. I tend to find for parties its best to make the end time at 5am two days after the party started, so that people will know it will be a really wild time.

3. The multiple people, where you are the least relevant person in the photo

These photos annoy me a lot. If the photo is of someone else but you are kind of in it, pick a different photo. If you don't like having your photo taken, just use the facebook silhouette, I mean that doesn't tell me much either but at least I don't think you are now on the run from the law and have had complete re constructive surgery.
Generally speaking the people that use these photos don't think of themselves as attractive people, but think maybe their friend is.

The guy in boat thought his friend Herb was way more attractive
Why do they do this? Are they hoping someone that obviously has never meet them in real life, will be trawling through facebook photos, see the picture of that babe Herb and want to jump his boots?
Even if that is the case how does it help them? I mean as soon as you meet, the person will realise you are clearly not the super stud Herb.
Man in Boat; He is no Herb

 What do you do now ? Just yell surprise and say well we got on online so it doesn't matter what I look like? True, but now the entire relationship is now built on a lie. The Facebook creeping relationship will be doomed.

Stalking: The most romantic way to meet.
4. Not a Photo, but shared Profiles.

The other thing that irks me about profiles is couples that share their profile. I don't mean do facebook relationship thingy, no these people are sharing the one profile.
They have names like Dave Mary Smith, were Mary is not his middle name, its his wifes name because they both use same profile. (Incidentally my grandmother's middle name is Bruce.)
Why are they doing this? Are they concerned they will run out of facebook pages, and they won't be using theirs much so they should just share?

Malik, It happened we just ran out of internet

Is this vestigial from the days where couples shared an email address? I mean I know sometimes people feel like the other person completes them, but they are still two separate individuals and should have separate profiles to reflect this.

Do Siamese twins get separate facebook profiles?
These people when making comments on walls and stuff append their messages with the name of the person that is writing the message, that is the point of separate profiles people, it tells people who are commenting on their stuff so you don't have too.


  1. Facebook: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." - Inigo Montoya.

    Facebook profiles are not, in fact, resources designed for four-dimensional Fred Smith stalking, rather they are vectors of self-projection. In other words, when people select FB profile pics they are not trying to provide factual information that is useful for those who are searching for old friends. Try Old Friends. com for that. Rather, people on Facebook assume that their friends have already been "added" or will be suggested for them by the spectral AI entity that rules their lives.

    Think about it. When you talk about yourself you don't feel the need to provide empirically descriptive data about yourself, you actually talk about the things that are important to you. This post is a good example. In the first three paragraphs you are attempting to describe yourself, but you actually end up talking about hockey, your girlfriend, your feelings for your mother, and sky tv. None of which provides a unique identifier of you, Aaron Bryant, DOB ?/?/8?, etc, etc.

    Basically Aaron, you're underthinking it.

  2. Firstly I had to rescue this post from the spam filter. So stop resembling Spam so much Rory.

    Secondly I endorse your Princess Bride quote, because well Princess Bride is awesome.

    Thirdly I don't actually believe anyone uses anything other than facebook for contacting their friends. Because why complicate things?
    I think that facebook is your virtual ID. In fact many websites use it as such, where you can log into their site using your Facebook profile.

    The reason I started this blog was too talk about things important to me (or not important to me, but relevant to me) and make my facebook more a place that informs people of what I am doing, what I look like etc.

    Facebook is your virtual ID, and anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something (most likely mafia wars or farmville)

  3. .. Facebook, meh... I know all the young ones think its important but personally I believe it is the epitome of popularity contests, and just another distraction form the real world.. ahh the looking glass, how it sucks your soul and destroys the world...

    However the points you address Aaron are interesting points of human character none the less..

    did you know :-D that apparently the Aboriginals believe that a photo takes part of your soul?! certainly it can theoretically prolong a persons existence on society.. and if the essence of life is one day scientifically described as "light" then they may be correct, at least with old film cameras :-)

    so just be careful criticising people for avoiding photos, they may be Aboriginal.. you may be underthinking their cultural background :-D

  4. Who would call a kid Bruce anyway?
    The poor kid would haveta hang his head in shame... Rubicon

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