If you have a social media profile picture, write a paragraph describing the ‘you’ it portrays. What aspects of yourself remain hidden? If you were to construct a more ‘accurate’ portrait of yourself, including various aspects of who you are, what would you choose to include? How might you visualise these things?
Try creating a new, more honest, self-portrait.
My social media profile picture changes frequently. It is either a photograph recently taken which is pertinent to the/my world at a moment in time, something silly and amusing, or my ‘Hippyhippo’ logo which I have always used as a brand identity since my photographic exhibition a couple of years ago.
Here’s some examples:
The striking thing of course is that very few are…actually of me!
They tell of what muses me, but reveal little else of my identity. The images that are of me are generally of a comical nature. Frankly, this does reveal quite a lot of the real life ‘Ian the clown’ but I have to wonder how much is still the real me behind the comedy mask. I hint at being a photographer as well as a comedian.
I leave out the fact that I’m a partner, father, brother, magistrate, IT project manager. They say nothing of the fact that I have worked in the Foreign Office, a bank, a chocolate factory and been a Freemason. This raises the question of why I leave these aspects out – are they not important parts of my identity? If not, why do I dedicate time to them as roles in my life?
Partner and children are easy. They are a hugely important part of my life I’d argue, but not a part of my personal identity- they deserve their own, not to be an addendum on mine. Equally, working in IT is what pays the bills, is not a passion, and so is not a part of my identity. Being a magistrate is, but I’d not be wanting to broadcast that fact on social networks (risk of reprisals from disgruntled criminals!).
This leaves the following elements of who I really am, driven by passions and interests: photographer, ex-musician, organiser of hippy/pagan mindfulness walks/meditations, office clown, politics-follower, real ale, cheese and red wine enjoyer. The key themes are of: a curiosity for art, appreciating good natured people and nature itself.
This isn’t a new image – it’s a couple of years old. But delving into my archives the following seems to fit the bill perfectly – stood in a field with a good friend while a bunch of random druids do their thing around a stone circle in the background. If I’m truthful, this shows the person I think I really am (albeit with a couple fewer wrinkles)…