Learning the art of living (i.e. using social media) from our profile pics 

Even though I use social media extensively, as a middle-aged proper man, I rarely change my profile pic, but whenever I do, I always notice one interesting thing.

There is one universal theme that I have noticed in most profile pics, and that is most profile pictures that we upload for fellow humans to recognise us by are always taken in only a few situations that you can count on your fingertips.

If you go back and check yours too, you will notice that it in almost all case, it would be a photo taken when you are with your family or friends, and in case if it a solo image, it would be in company of nature or good book or music (PS: you can count dogs and cats under family and friends or nature, depending on how you view them). Even if it is your selfie with your mug shot from an angle that you think is most attractive, if you recollect the time it was taken, it would be taken under circumstance listed above.

If you are wondering what is so special about this commonsensical finding, I would like you to scroll further down on your wall and look at the other form of self-portrayal that you are offering for the world in terms of your posts and comments.

Be it your profile pic or your posts on social media, both serve the same purpose of communicating your identity to the fellow human beings, but when you look closely, in most cases, they are as different as chalk and cheese.

The happy and smiling human being in your profile pic suddenly turns into an angry man/woman when he/she shifts from pictorial mode to the verbal one!

About time all of us notice this amazing transformation that we bring upon us on social media and understand what it actually means not only to us but to the society that is emerging in the age of social media.

When we are posting our profile pics, we are in a “human” mode. In this mode, what we really cherish is happiness and hence it is a proof that such a state of mind and aspiration exists within all of us.

But when we sit down to write a post or make a comment, some kind of black magic happens.

We instantly get transformed from a human being into an idea, and develop a feeling that we exist as that idea and hence we must defend it with life.

So, the same person who can be seen happily splashing water on a beach in the profile picture turns into a raging ball of frustration spewing anger on the same wall.

As social media is a new phenomenon that we are yet to really reconcile with as a society, it is about time we learn something really important from our profile pics, and that is, we are human beings and not ideas.

Ideas are great things to have and exchange of ideas has always been a great driver of growth for humanity, but in the end, ideas are not you and me. So, we are human beings first capable of beholding happiness and then vessels that can behold ideas.

There could be various and very interesting reasons why social media turns the happy-us into argumentative monsters and they may get unveiled by psychologists over time, but we need to wake up before this phenomenon not only damages the very fabric of society but robs us of the happiness of social interactions.

So, the next time when you feel really angry with someone posting an idea that really upsets you, please scroll up and look at your profile pic and remember the moment it was taken, and then decide what you want to feel and share with fellow humans, the anger or the happiness.

Our profile pics proves that choice is ours and if more and more of us shift to the profile pic mind-set while using social media, we are far more likely to end up as a happier society.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.

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