Your Facebook Picture May Say More About You Than You Realize

Sep 14, 2012 17:10:45Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

Your Facebook Picture May Say More About You Than You Realize

It seems as though we all have some form of online presence these days, with users gravitating toward everything from Facebook and Twitter to online dating.

What's interesting is how we're portraying ourselves - particularly with Facebook. According to a new study out of the University of Missouri, our profile pictures on Facebook help others find us attractive. Researchers suggest that people whose Facebook profile picture includes social cues and more information about themselves could be seen as socially and physically attractive, particularly if they draw a lot of comments.

Researchers suggest an example of this would be an athlete posting a picture of themselves playing a sport, or a musician using their instrument.

"People tend to rely more on other-generated information than self-generated information when forming impressions," said researcher Seoyeon Hong. "In other words, opinions of other people matter more than the target person’s own self-presentation. Thus, for social networking users concerned about forming a desired impression, being aware of other-generated information about oneself is paramount in the goal of achieving a positive self-presentation."

Profile pictures: Not just for Facebook
Although the study applies to Facebook, this may be important information for people who are thinking about getting involved in online dating. As the profile picture is the first thing many potential matches look at it, it's important to make a good impression.

Those who have some set hobbies may want to portray them in their picture, as it could help draw in those with similar interests, making for a better match. You may want to enlist your friends in picking the perfect photo of yourself, as they know you better than most.

Being smart about online dating
While your picture may elicit a lot of attention, some of it may be unwanted. You would like to be sure you really know a person before you give them personal information, which is where a second mobile number can come into play. Having this could help keep potential dates at bay until you've found out that they're legitimate.

The second phone number offers you an out - if you are suddenly turned off by someone you're talking to online, you never have to hear from them again if you don't want to.