How often do you change your profile pic?
In 2011, Facebook users changed their profile picture an average of 18 times. That’s an average figure - some people changed their profile picture every second day and others haven’t changed theirs since April 2007. Women change their Facebook picture on average every 2 weeks. Men change theirs less frequently, changing pictures every 3 weeks. The average profile picture will receive 3 likes and 2 comments and the number of profile pictures has tripled since 2006. Facebook profile pictures make up 10% of all photos on Facebook and if you’re average you will have 26 profile pictures.
Why do people change their photo so often? If we are honest, I think we would admit that having a good image is part of why we change our profile picture so often and it’s not the only thing we do to look good or impress others.
What are you really like?
We are a society that is always buying new shoes and new clothes. Advertising entices us to have the latest iPhone or iPad. We try to have the latest apps, the latest haircut and our latest profile picture online. While there’s nothing bad about having nice clothes, having a mobile phone or getting a haircut occasionally, something begins to go wrong when we’re putting all our efforts into presenting a good image of ourselves and begin to ignore what’s happening on the inside of our lives.
Jesus once said of the Pharisees that everything they did was for show (Matthew 23:5). Jesus suggests that all their activities were directed towards gaining the approval of others and impressing people. Jesus went on to say the Pharisees were like cups that were clean on the outside but filthy on the inside. (Matt 23:25). The Pharisees, it seems, were so busy impressing people and looking good that their relationship with God and their inner life was no good at all.
Is it time to get real?
Sometimes we’re exactly like the Pharisees. We spend all of our time worrying about what people think of us and put our energy, time and money into creating an image that we hope people will like. Sometimes this obsession with impressing others shows up in our profile pictures. Sometimes we’re so busy changing profile pictures, that we ignore God and we miss the fact that our lives are hollow. There’s a lot happening on the outside but not much is going on inside.
Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites because of the way they were always trying to get attention and impress people. A hypocrite is a fake, someone who isn’t being their true selves. If the same is true for us maybe it’s time we asked whether our profile page is really just one big fakebook.