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What your social media pictures say about you Print E-mail
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Written by By Thamar Jones   
Thursday, 15 June 2017 00:00

Lots have been said about our favorite social media platforms; good ole’ Facebook, Twitter -and now Snap Chat and  Insta. But good or bad, we can’t deny that we love our cyber world. We do the most for The Gram and Facebook. We post pics that portray the image that we want our friends- and the world to have of us but even in our guise to fool the world we are actually revealing much, much more about our psyche than we think when we post. What do your photos on the Web say about you? What hidden complexes or secret desires, which sometimes even we ourselves don’t realize, do they tell the world? A recent study has delivered some interesting findings.

Exhibit A: Selfie queen

Lighting: perfect; outfit: on fleek; background: perfect. You snap away. Ughhh you hate it. Delete. Change angle. Snap. Yes Perfect. You post immediately, adding to the collection of flawless pics on your page. You are showing the world just how fly you stay. Or so you think. The study suggests that an abundance of selfies in one’s account reveals the excessive need for the recognition and approval of others, self-centeredness, vanity, and a penchant for narcissism. Know any selfie queens? Are you one?

Exhibit B: Sexy selfies

The duck face, an exaggerated hip tilt... Your message to the world: “I’m  liberated, and ready-to-experiment. Think about whether you need to show the world so openly that you’re “on the market” by using your body as bait and a way to sell yourself.

Do you really think that men seeking a serious relationship will take such a bait?

Exhibit C: couple photos

It’s a demonstration of your relationship and of the fact that you perceive it as strong and long term. It’s a way to tell the world: “I’m not alone, I’m loved, I’m needed and appreciated.”

If there are lots of these pictures in the account, this is a reason to ask yourself Why do I need this? What do I want to tell other people with these shots? Perhaps it’s a hidden need to prove something to your ex or to win the competition from less fortunate friends.

Exhibit D: Group photos

If the majority of the pictures in your account are photos of parties or group shots showing how much fun you’re having with your friends, it can indicate an inner emptiness and loneliness. It can also show that belonging to a group flatters your vanity. You tell the world: “I was chosen to be a part of this group, and it’s flattering.”

Exhibit E: Children

There are two options. If you share your childhood photo and put it as your profile picture, it indicates you’re tired of adult life and all these responsibilities. It hides a subconscious desire to get back to childhood and a need to be taken care of. “Hold me in your arms, and stroke my head,“ cries such a photo.

The second variant, is about parents who share pictures of their children or  photos together with children. This way we say, ”I’m a mother, and it’s a great achievement in my life.”

Exhibit F: Animals and photos together with animals.

If this is a photographer’s account, then photos of wild animals in their natural habitat are evidence of professionalism. Yet if a man puts a wild wolf or a graceful cheetah as his profile picture, he wants to appear bold and strong when, in reality, he’s not.

Women, as a rule, post cute photos, such as charming kittens (rabbits, puppies) or young ladies with kittens. Such pictures indicate the sentimentality and immaturity of the account’s owner.

Exhibit G: Nature

Again, this is not about the accounts of professional photographers. If there are lots of landscape photos in your account, it can indicate satisfaction with life. Life is a success, and now you can admire nature. Yet it can also indicate fatigue from the frenetic daily pace, and the need for privacy and contemplation of natural beauty.

Exhibit H:Glamour looks

The abundance of such photos in an account reveals a need for narcissistic support and emotional “strokes” in the form of likes and flattering comments. And this is a reason to think about your self-esteem and alternative ways to build it, not depending on likes and the virtual world.

Exhibit I: Travel photos

For some people, photos from a trip indicate a desire to emphasize their social status (or aspiration for it). “Look at how and where I can afford to relax,” say such photos.

As for others, it can be material evidence of the reality of the trip, the feelings and emotions that were experienced. Confirmation of the fact that you reached a place millions of others have visited, but you were there for the first time, and this is your personal achievement (for example, a photo with a background of the Eiffel Tower, or Machu Picchu in Peru).

Exhibit J: Photos with a background of yachts, expensive cars, luxury goods

This is a way to tell the world about your success (often imaginary or desired), to emphasize a certain social status, and declare, “My life is great!”

Exhibit K:Photos of food

This is not about professional food bloggers. A photo of exquisite food from an expensive restaurant is an attempt at self-affirmation and social self-promotion. And if this photo is in the account of a woman on maternity leave or a housewife, then this is a desire to prove (first of all to herself) that her life is as good as everyone else’s and that things are just as interesting in the kitchen as in negotiations, in offices, at conferences, festivals, etc.

Exhibit L: Extreme photos

Parachute jumps and conquering mountain peaks or waves is about showing the world truly masculine qualities: courage, strength, reliability, endurance.

Yet extreme selfies (on the top of a skyscraper, train, or with a predator) hide a need for recognition, the need to be noticed, to feel alive. Young people can literally get hooked on the emotional cocktail of fear and pleasure they experience when doing extreme selfies. People close to them should pay attention to this hobby and, possibly, consult a psychologist.

Exhibit M: Your funny photos

Apparently, the account’s owner is self-confident and self-ironic because to post a “twisted” photo of yourself, especially if you’re a woman, takes courage. Or maybe you just laugh to hide your problems?

Exhibit N: Photo in the office

If the account contains lots of photographs in the office, in a formal setting, then a person’s professional life and realization in society are clearly important to them, and they’re full of ambitious plans. For the owner of such a page, it’s important to show as many people as possible that they’re a high-class professional holding a position of high status.

Exhibit O: Real photos without filters and Photoshop

Such photos say that these people perceive themselves as they are. It can also be applied to a situation when a person hasn’t changed their profile picture for several years — this indicates a stability of views, a moral maturity, and a lack of the need to show off in social networks to receive emotional “stroking” in the form of likes and compliments.

Such people use social networks to communicate with friends or for work and not as an opportunity to show themselves in all their glory. They prefer not to photograph moments and share them but to live them in fullness

Do you identify with any of these?