Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Prompts vs pics

A while back, I had no idea what to write about, so I posted to Facebook asking for prompts.

Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...
Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Français : Logo de Facebook Tiếng Việt: Logo Facebook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I got two suggestions (read what came of them here and here) and zero likes. Both suggestions were from men. None of this is particularity remarkable on its own.

Later that day, I changed my profile picture. Someone else posted a 6-year-old photo that I was in, and I cropped it to make a nice shot of me.

Not counting a comment I made myself about the context of the pic, I got six comments and 41 likes. Five of the comments were from women, as were 32 of the likes.

There's a lot of conclusions I could draw from this.  It's easier to like, or even compliment, a picture than it is to come up with a prompt.  Profile picture changes are more likely to show up in the newsfeed, especially if you have it set to top stories.  And if that is how your newsfeed is set up, then the extra likes is just going to make it more likely that more people will see it.  Algorithms, right?

I could also conclude that women care more about appearance than men do, or that women care more about appearance than content. Likewise, that men care more about content than women do, or that men care more about content than appearance.

None of these seem quite right.

I could conclude that people care more about how pretty I was six years ago than they do what I'm thinking right now.  This is probably somewhat true, but it also implies people care much about either, which most don't.

I could conclude that as a woman, my appearance matters more than my thoughts. On a societal level, maybe, but on a personal level? For the most part, looking at exactly who posted what? Probably not.  Though maybe a little, in some cases.

Being who I am, part of me is going to conclude that I'm ugly and stupid and no one cares what I think and they liked the picture because the previous one was hideous.

I guess the most charitable (to say nothing of the healthiest) conclusion I could draw is:

We all, myself included, should engage more with each other's thoughtful posts.

What conclusion did you draw?

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