Gleaming through a few Facebook and Twitter profiles of friends and general connection, I noticed one commonality in the thread of teenage profiles. Selfies; endless images of one’s self-taken to force jealousy on the world emphasizing exactly what people are missing out on.
My argument is not to rant about selfies since that case has already been made, but instead I want to check in with you about the image you are portraying in your profile and how quickly one innocent snapshot can spiral out of control.
“Well, that won’t happen to me you declare!” Aye, but it can and recent statics show that there is a greater probability that it will than won’t.
Take a look for just a moment, what does your profile image say about you? If your image is too revealing or focused in on certain aspects of your body, it may send messages such as: “fun”, “free”, “good time” or negative ideas including “easy”, “open to sex”, “game for a ‘good time’”, “easy target”
So, why not take the time to prevent yourself from becoming another profile image statistic?
- Instead of personal photos, use neutral images or group photos that represent who you are but do not disclose what you specifically look like
- Turn off your location when taking a picture or do not tag or spell out where the image was taken
- Keep images private and shared with only those you personally know
- Change your settings so that you cannot be tagged in self-disclosing images
- If you are still wanting to use an image of yourself, use pictures that are not revealing including even your eye contact (Remember, anyone including 80 year old men will be looking at your pictures)
- Be responsible and hold yourself accountable by sharing your username and passwords with parents (if they have not already asked for them.)
Although some of you may be a few years away from seeking employment or applying for colleges, the time to establish an appropriate social media account is now. Not only does maintaining a positive profile image influence potential predators by sending out the message “Not an easy target”, it also encourages others to represent themselves in a more appropriate manner and to think about their own actions in the social media world. Who knows, your one simple decision to clean up your image can have a mighty impact on other young women around the globe.