Why do you post profile pictures online? And why do you change them? How often do you change them? Is it important to you to have a profile picture that depicts who you are (meaning, what you look like, what social “status” you may have, what kind of clothes you like etc.)?
Here’s a few of my profile pictures I have on Facebook, dating all the way back to 2008 up until present day:
None of my profile pictures look the same, and there are multiple reasons for that: in my first profile picture that stayed for a whole year was there to show off my obvious photoshop “skills” (haha, i’m happy that i’ve learnt a thing or two since then ;) ), in the second and third one I look quite happy and “healthy” (if you want to put it that way) and I chose them because I wanted to show my ex how great everything was without him – lol. The 4th one isn’t of me, it’s of my cat smelling the bun-paper on the table: a cute picture, but why is it displayed as my profile picture?! Maybe because it is a fast and good way to catch people’s attention, or simply because I wanted people to comment on it and say how cute it is and I would therefore feel a bit better (even though the comments were directed at my cat and how cute she is, I would still feel good from the attention MY picture got – the picture that I made).
The fifth one has an obvious water mark on it, advertising the film I was shooting at the time, so that picture is simply there to show what profession I have.
And the last one, which is also my current picture, was taken a few weeks ago whilst on holiday back home in Sweden. I am not quite sure what I wanted to say with that one, other than showing people what I look like at the moment.
So, you could say that my identity seems quite fleeting rather than fixed. But is this because we have fleeting identities by nature, or is it a product of online photo-sharing? What do you think about it? Do you see yourself as a person with “multiple” identities that changes day-to-day, and do you feel compelled to show this through photography and share it with others? If so, can you remember if you felt that way before websites such as Flickr, Facebook and Instagram came to be? Or even before the digital camera?
Please let me know your thoughts, I need some other angles for my dissertation-research :)
Don’t forget to visit my Print Shop over at Etsy :) http://www.etsy.com/shop/sabinahannila