January 25, 2010

Profile pictures

It's amazing how something as simple as taking a picture of yourself can bring out anxieties, feelings of inadequacy, and concern for how your friends/family/network/strangers will view you. I suppose part of the reasoning lies in how we view ourselves, and the way we cope with our limitations -- perceived or actual. We try to select images that showcase the best version of ourselves. This is especially true of online dating websites like eHarmony or Match.com. Humans are a visual species and the desire to form a relationship -- platonic or sexual -- is initiated by appearance. But what I didn't realize is that what constitutes the "best profile picture" depends a lot on your gender. This blog analyzed over 7,000 profile pictures to see how eye contact, facial expression, background, etc. impact the interest you receive from the other gender. The results are somewhat unexpected!