Facebook – It’s Not Really About The Icon

I recently read an article that condemned women who use pics of their kids as Facebook icons as boring has-beens who now dominate dinner party conversation with discussions of strollers and school lunches. Interesting. I don’t use my daughter’s picture as my Facebook identity, but it seems a bit off to me to make a sweeping judgment about that many women based on… well, Facebook.

Is Facebook that ingrained in our lives now that we can judge a person’s whole life by the photo they put by their name? If so, I suppose I should try to check this monumentally important account more often. Frankly, I’m far more likely to make snap judgments based on the annoyingness of the games and apps and quizzes a person spews onto my wall than I am to care what photo they choose. My friend Alison has a cartoon character. Dare I contemplate what that says about her? Facebook is a tool with which you can find out more about a person’s world. Let’s not mistake it as their entire world.

If I did choose to put a picture of my daughter up to represent me for a day, I’d do so because I’m proud to have achieved a reasonable level of career success while maintaining some hobbies and a sort of clean house, spending a lot of time volunteering, having an active social life, *and* raising a daughter who is funny, well-rounded and well-behaved. Whether or not that meets anyone else’s definition of the healthy, modern woman matters to me about as much as their choice of Facebook photo.

What about those creepy people whose pics show them turned to the side, or with a hand near their face, or even a stray lock of hair falling over one eye? They’re obviously ashamed of themselves, hiding their lack of contribution to the world, and should possibly re-consider even being on Facebook at all. It’s gotta be a full-on shot of your face, or you’re just plain doing it wrong.

At the end of the day, though, if you find yourself obsessively characterizing your Facebook contacts based on the photo they choose as their icon, perhaps it’s time to take a little break? Besides, as far the dinner party conversation issue goes, I can’t say I’d enjoy someone who wanted to talk smack about other people’s Facebook choices any more than a parenting-only conversation. At least the stroller convo might have some useful real-life applications….

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