Like every mother I know, I think my kids are pretty cute. Since the time my daughter was born five years ago, one or both of my children have usually filled the place of my Facebook profile picture. Most recently I had a picture of my 3-year-old son cuddling his best friend.
What does my Facebook picture say about me?
Facebook tells us, “Your profile picture is the picture that friends see next to your name everywhere on Facebook. This is how people recognise you… This is your chance to feature a unique image that represents who you are or what you care about.”
Well, I would say my latest picture said I care about my children, kindness and friendship. But… did it help people to recognise me? And what does it say about who I am? If I am not there at all, it’s probably not what I really want to be saying.
One personal branding expert suggested that this type of Facebook profile picture suggests, "I am my children" and "I don’t matter anymore." Others wrote that by using pictures of my children, instead of myself, I am telling people that I used to be fun and fabulous, but now all I can talk about is kid stuff. Worse still, “I don’t exist anymore.”
I run one small business. I am co-founding another one. I study. I am lucky enough to have a number of close and truly fabulous friends. I am in a book club. I am doing a home renovation. AND I adore my immediate and extended family. I do exist, but I can see that I am not projecting any of this by being absent in my own profile picture.
What is my Facebook profile picture saying to my kids?
I want my children to grow up with a strong sense of self, knowing clearly who they are and what they have to offer the world. Growing up in a digitised world, I want them to ultimately create their own positive social media presence that best represents them to ensure their wellbeing and future success.