What People Are Trying To Communicate With Their Profile Pics, Part 2

“I have family values and feel unsure about you if you do not have family values”

People that want to communicate that they have family values are often moms or family members who are likely to post embarrassing things on your Facebook wall (as discussed here) and rarely post anything else aside from incomprehensibly-toned, extremely excited comments on family members’ (who also have profile pics that communicate that they have family values) photos and status updates. People that want to communicate that they have family values usually congregate around Facebook and often possess the belief that “the Internet” actually means “Facebook,” an antiquated email account with AOL and, perhaps, something called “chatrooms” of which they are suspicious contain internet predators (actually, it’s more likely that they’re unaware – or at least unsure – of the term “internet predator;” rather, they simply sense that chatrooms are not “family friendly”).

“I am in college, bro”

People that want to communicate that they are in college, bro, are as a rule, male, and most likely in a fraternity or about to rush for a fraternity. These kinds of profile pictures typically show the individual clad in a cap turned backward (or cap turned forward with the bill curled in a tubular fashion), a rugby shirt (this may vary depending on the level of inebriation of the subject), and khaki-colored cargo shorts, with one arm around their bro, its hand ‘sporting’ a can of cheap beer, looking into the camera with an extremely serious or drunk facial expression. “I am in college, bro,” is indeed – the owners of these profile pics would say – a lifestyle and perhaps a mantra or motto that they utter to themselves during their most inebriated moments, as they know that theirs is a dying breed, and that someone (i.e. them) must “carry the fire” (they are confused about this reference but have a vague recollection of hearing it somewhere, as its source was semi-recently made into a major motion picture).

“I am dark, interesting, kind of emo (but not as emo as I once was because I am in my late 20s now), and I want to be your sad and needy friend”

Also known as post-emos, or simply “people that are marginally more emotionally mature than ‘emos’ in high school,” the “I am dark, interesting, kind of emo (but not very emo anymore because I am in my late 20s now) and I want to be your sad and needy friend” profile pic user has only recently grown out of his or her “extreme” high school and college level of emo-ness to a more palatable one. He or she heavily favors Facebook over all other forms of social media, except for – perhaps – Twitter, where he or she will use the microblogging platform to ‘double up’ on opportunities to post very slightly cryptic, very slightly manipulative quips about the ‘minutiae’ (note: they are very likely to use this term, i.e. “At the coffee shop with Sartre, finding the minutiae of existence incomprehensible but utterly beautiful”) of their lives in a sensational and altogether exaggerated alliterative play on words in an effort to influence the reader to feel that he or she (i.e. the post-emo Facebook user) is deep and slightly hurt as the result of some romanticized notion of existential angst that the post-emo expects the reader to share and sigh upon intake. This type of Facebook user typically has a profile pic that is simply their eye or perhaps half their face with their hair not combed over their eye as they once did but slightly higher and thus more professional. Aside from their ‘zine-like’ Internet personas, these individuals are moreover likely to keep Moleskines in which they write terrible poetry in highly visible positions in coffee shops and other public areas, promote “foreign film,” and lace their status updates with words in French, occasionally German.

“I support an idealist cause”

People that want to communicate that they support an idealist cause use profile pics that they found via one of their friend’s status updates, or a Facebook ad, that said that if one were to post this obscure picture of a solid square of color as their Facebook profile pic (which somehow is a metaphor or symbol for struggle, oppression, or human/animal suffering), one dollar, for example, will go to the fight against AIDS in Africa. While their pursuit is indeed a noble one, none that want to communicate that they support an idealist cause seem to understand the significance of “squares of pastels” to their cause and they (people that want to communicate that they support an idealist cause) have often reported high levels of confusion as to when they can appropriately take them down and replace them with a picture of their faces. This is because such an action – which will be published to their friends’ newsfeeds – may be interpreted as some fundamental disagreement with the organization that propagated the original profile picture or some other personal scandal or identity crises or drop in idealism, because why would one choose to stop supporting the fight against AIDS in Africa? This would be awkward for the person that hithertofore supported said idealist cause.

“I honestly don’t give a shit about profile pics”

People that communicate that they honestly don’t give a shit about Facebook profile pics are actually not trying to communicate that they honestly don’t give a shit about Facebook profile pics. It’s implied. Generally, people that honestly don’t give a shit about Facebook profile pics are under 7 or over 80 years-old, and have an extremely limited understanding of the internet, such that they’re apt to use antiquated terminology when talking about the web (i.e. using “download” for every action taken on the internet, for example “Oh so if I click this here the computer will download the email”) and probably have not even uploaded their profile pics themselves, or have had any say in what appears on their Facebook profile at all. TC mark


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  • http://hbgwhem.tumblr.com/ HBGWHEM

    the idealist cause one seems like a rogue attack on tao's twitter icon. hotly anticipating a desperate housewives-esque thought catalog infighting war that will eventually culminate in all of the contributors covering this song

    in a near-viral youtube video

    • Brandon Gorrell

      i didn't mean to do that

  • http://popserial.tumblr.com stephen


  • timmymctooglebury

    i have that half-coloured eye thing too!

    i thought part one really wailed, but you've knocked it out of the park with part two, BSG. so insightful, so funny.

    i'm confused though: i thought there was no such thing as objectively 'bad' poetry — just poetry you liked or didn't like. please explain.

    • Brandon Gorrell

      i was trying to have mass appeal and do a 'zinger'

      thank you for your compliment

      • luke


  • mario

    the square is good, i scrolled up to look at it twice for 3-5 seconds each time.

  • http://heheheheheheheeheheheehehe.com/ tao

    sweet, succulent lol

    • anon

      People just like this cuz it's Tao…

  • Just saying...

    You do “download” emails, technically.

  • Rchlrdngs


  • http://twitter.com/JosephErnest Joseph Ernest Harper

    i like profile pics that say, “i have a macbook”.

  • jeez

    eh, misfire

  • Josef Horáček

    All right, so Part 2 does include two token women (possibly the youngest and the oldest of all the examples). Is it that men are an easier target when it comes to profile pictures? Hardly. All tongue-in-cheekness aside, this imbalance communicates something about the story's author.

  • http://triplescience.tumblr.com Lolly

    “Oh so if I click this here the computer will download the email”


  • http://spiritinquire.wordpress.com Spiritinquire

    your blog is making me laugh at loud. thanks!

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