As someone who changes her Facebook profile picture almost every week, I can attest that choosing the perfect photo to represent yourself on social media is hard.
There are tons of different apps that exist today, and the default pictures we choose will either make us or break us.
The picking process is truly agonizing.
Luckily, a new study just revealed one trick that'll help us choose the perfect profile pictures for our social media accounts, and it's definitely not what you'd expect.
The eye-opening study claims you should let other people choose your profile pictures for you, instead of choosing them yourself.
Apparently, default pictures selected by individuals are less appealing than those chosen by others, according to new research.
David White, leading researcher on the study from the University of New South Wales, said,
Our findings suggest that people make poor choices when selecting flattering images of themselves for online profile pictures, which affects other people's perception of them. This effect is likely to have a substantial impact on online interactions, the impressions people form and the decisions they base on them, including whether to employ, date, befriend or even vote for someone.
During the study, called "Choosing face: The curse of self in profile image selection," researchers asked 102 students to pick two out of 12 photos of themselves they'd set as their profile pics in three settings: dating, social network and professional.
After, they did the same exact thing with strangers and concluded the strangers chose more desirable pictures than the people themselves.
Researchers commented on the phenomenon, saying,
One apparently plausible account of our findings is that, somewhat paradoxically, these self-enhancing biases in perception may in fact interfere with a person's ability to discriminate between images when selecting one to portray a positive impression.
So, basically, if you have confidence in your appearance, you might not be able to see the difference between a good photo and a bad one.
Time to find a buddy to choose a profile pic for you.
To make the process of choosing a profile picture a little bit harder, it's been concluded you should have different profile pictures for each app you're on.
Research has shown people often change their appearance from one social media account to the other to fit the social culture of the website or app.
For instance, the bikini picture you posted on your Tinder account probably wouldn't be great for LinkedIn profile, and vice versa.
If you're contemplating on changing a few pictures around for your social media accounts, find a friend to choose the best pics for you -- and make sure they're different for every app.
Citations: Not having any luck on Tinder? Get a STRANGER to choose your photos: Images selected by people who don't know you give a better first impression (MailOnline), Choosing face: The curse of self in profile image selection (Springer Open)