What Your Gmail Theme Says About You

Not only are personalities passively exerted by Gmail themes, but more so, they are a concession to the motif we choose to live with daily. Find out who you are in the following.

Wood – You are a wasp-y New Englander who grew up in an upper middle-class lakeside house, spending long summer afternoons by the dock with your blonde girlfriend in your Tommy Hilfiger shorts and Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes (w/o socks), yes those were great pre-Princeton days, and the planks of wood in this theme remind you of such quiet pastoral repose, your mother’s unconditional love emitted through the kitchen window yonder.

Desk – In 2008, you purchased a writing desk at Pier 1 Imports for $760.00, as subtly encouraged by your adamant spouse, who you were trying to placate. Now every time you see this theme, you think of the alimony checks you write to her every month, for that is the only time you use this stupid table. By the way, you got divorced, in case you weren’t paying attention.

Beach – Corona is your favorite beer, you who live a sad bland existence. You are lonely. You wish you could be hanging out on the beach all day in a recliner next to a beautiful woman, a mirror image of yourself, except she has boobs marked with beads of shimmering sweat. The lazy leaning palm trees in the distance are a funny reminder of your neglected inbox at work, and the office you will never go back to, is what you think, in your office.

Wasabi – You are a coke addict who needs this flat wasabi green color to heighten the constant burn in your nasal cavity. This month you spent $58.00 on French house music and blew out your left eardrum in a manic state listening to it on maximum volume with cheap headphones on your iPod. You’ve publicly urinated in places you have no recollection of at least eleven times in your life. You may have herpes.

Mountains – You are 40-50 lbs. overweight, from in the Midwest, and only curious about seeing Brokeback Mountain. Your fantasies about climbing Mt. Everest meld into another one in which you enter the Coors logo. You gaze at the stark mountain top and imagine a tiny happier version of yourself, the generous arc of your beer belly as some sideways smile.

Pebbles – You are a mid-level corporate executive on anti-depressants and mood stabilizers. Your therapist suggested that you start a Zen rock garden, but you rent a single bedroom apartment in a congested urban city and do not have the floor space. You would ask your landlady if you could do one on the roof, but she’s in a coma. These pebbles remind you of a spiritually vague calmness that you have yet to experience. You notice that your therapist is “available” to chat, and you type “hi,” and wait.

Graffiti – You are a 14-year-old Caucasian boy residing in a suburb in Ohio. You taunt neighborhood cats and squirrels. You like thug rap aggressively conveyed by African-American men with semi-distinct abdominal muscles. You think that a girl will see your theme and deem you “hardcore,” but you are deeply mistaken. You throw away the orange your mother has put inside your lunch because fruits suck.

Planets – You’re a man in his mid- to late-thirties who’s never been married and has had only two girlfriends, relationships which expired in part due to your unsexy fascination with space. They patiently watched the Discovery channel and Nova with you while you impulsively yet unnecessarily chewed on chili. At least you have that cool unnamed huge planet to look at all day.

Cherry Blossom – You love sushi, the film Lost in Translation, and expensive non-applicable things no bigger than 5 x 5″ designed by neurotic Japanese men, manufactured in China, and sold in various Japantowns throughout the United States. This theme seemed the most Japanese to you, evocative of Basho’s or Issa’s haiku, yet with contemporary graphic design sensibilities, so there you go.

Tree — You are like Morgan Freeman approaching a large silhouetted oak tree off in the distance. You just got out of prison and your friend Andy Dufresne, some years ago, told you to find some crap under a large rock. “Is it cuz I’m black,” you think. Then you see Inbox (1) and notice a new message from Netflix. They received Shawshank Redemption, thank you.

Zoozimps – You are insane. Who are Zoozimps? How do they not scare you?

Terminal – The neon green on black interface is totally Matrix bro. Are you like Neo or something? You seem deep in the rabbit hole, like deep down in the spam folder with all those Nigerian dudes. Did you actually spend a third of last month’s paycheck on that black leather trench coat you are wearing indoors in front of your multiple gaming consoles? How’s that Proactiv® acne treatment coming along? Who even emails you?

Orcas Island – Nothing will fade your optimism, you retired lady living in Washington state who owns thirty-five sweaters, and perhaps in the onset of her senility thinks that a jovial orca whale will suddenly breach the calm water’s surface to perform some anthropomorphic à la Free Willy back flip for you. It’s a screen lady. This is called the internet. TC mark

image — Gmail


More From Thought Catalog

  • http://twitter.com/Erikhaspresence Erik Stinson


  • http://twitter.com/kaimcn Kai


    • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen

      i felt that ninjas would have been in conflict with the japanese-centric cherry blossoms; but yah, seems like your agile, reticent, and sneaky

      • http://twitter.com/kaimcn Kai

        I’ll take it :)

  • http://twitter.com/ingenuegle Egle Makaraite

    What about those of us who went random??

    • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen

      i started writing something but deleted it; basically, i said you have no life

      • http://twitter.com/ingenuegle Egle Makaraite

        aw hell nah. I did NOT leave the south side for this!!!

  • publicperv

    it’s funny that this exists. when i was trying to pick a theme yesterday, i worried about what they might say about me. so obvi i opted for “light” aka i’m more complex than my gmail theme implies. 

    • Leif Eriksson

      I really hope your name is a reference to the interpol song

  • ANugget

    You didn’t do Marker! That one’s mine :(

  • your cousin

    I have been using the Beach theme for 5+ years. I like it because it’s dynamic (and the Loch Ness Monster shows up at 3:14 am).

  • Lamagars

    Forgot the Classic one. Is the best!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Methofelis Nicole La Rrett

    … I just like “dark.” Because it’s… plain. I’m a loser.

    • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen

      darks listen to either metallica or joy division, depending on their gender. so you listen to joy division, and ur not a loser

      • anonymous

        are you fucking serious
        kill yourself for being such a shitty superficial person

        love, everyone with a fucking conscience 

  • http://twitter.com/palespectre flipside of a memory

    My Gmail theme is Candy. hmmm..

    • S.Deraff

      So is mine…I’m scared to know what that says about me

      • http://twitter.com/palespectre flipside of a memory

        I’d like to think it means we are awesome and that we haven’t lost our sense of wonder.  :)

    • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen

      i wanted to do candy, but promised myself i wouldn’t write about little girls fellating popsicles anymore

  • EP

    I…don’t have a theme. This guide will help me pick out my theme accordingly, thanks.

  • Anonymous

    …says the man using AOL dialup

  • Anonymous

    damn I need to get that wood theme

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamaicamalangmojica Jamaica Malang

     They received Shawshank Redemption, thank you.bahahaha

  • Anonymous

    FALSE: I am a sixteen year old girl who has never been married and has only had two relationships which expired in part due to my unsexy fascination with space. And at the end of the day, I love my planets. They’re rad. 

    • http://twitter.com/Berrybrooke Beresford Brooke

      How do planets kill relationships?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

        MARU THE CAT

    • Dom

      Can’t really feel sorry for you. Being 16 and already having two relationships under your belt is a pretty good track record…

  • http://twitter.com/Erikhaspresence Erik Stinson

    jimmy what is your theme and why?

    • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen

      i am ‘soft gray’ because it’s the exact same tone as the inbox, and i do not believe in boundaries; getting lost in a gray cloud of other people’s hellos feels calming

  • http://twitter.com/MissKimball misskimball

    mine is ninjas but a gmail update turned him gay

    • TuraLura

      Yeah I can’t believe they got rid of the throwing stars. Once they force me to switch to the “new look” permanently, Ninjas will be fired. So sad!

      • cobalt

        Oh no! I’m staying away from the update/new look for as long as possible (sadly, not likely to be very long). I love the throwing stars & the Ninjas theme in general.

  • Lauren Kondor

    You forget to add the BUS STOP! How could you bypass Ben Franklin? When it rains, there is a girl snorkeling in a puddle! The bus never comes, but the people come and go. I won’t get all Forrest Gump on y’all. 

    • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen

      sorry, but i wanted to concentrate on the ‘generic’ stock photo-esque themes, and not the specialized illustration-y ones. the giraffe’s neck also grows with the inbox, which is sweet.

    • Sophia

      I was about to comment to say this same exact thing. Bus stop rules.

  • Rachel

    The problem with this article, and so many other TC articles just like it, is that it makes this assumption that people can be defined by external factors–their purchases, their desktop backgrounds, their Gmail accounts, their clothing. While so many of these are obvious cues, it’s ridiculous to rely so heavily on it. And by making it a joke, a source of laughter, it’s encouraging people to distance themselves from others, to embrace isolation. It’s fitting–the article is about the internet. That’s what the internet does. We lose all contact with reality and reduce human beings to superficial judgments. 

    And don’t get me started on the subtle elitism of this article. In case no one has picked this up, the general ideology fueling this article is “my taste is better than yours; ergo, I’m a better person.” It’s funny that people with certain Gmail backgrounds are described as “lonely” when the loneliest person is the one who wrote this article. 

    • http://thetangential.com Becky Lang

      i think the premise of articles like these is to be absurdly specific in the details gleaned from these traits as a type of farce. 

    • http://www.twitter.com/kkasie19 kasie

      u mad bro?

    • Callieo

      Is your Gmail account setting set on “blank”… because this article is meant to be taken as a joke, and you have to be boring to not understand the humor in it. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

      thanks for the quaintness of your comment

  • Ms C

    Because of you, I just changed my Gmail theme 5 times. None of them felt “right” anymore. Jeez.

  • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen

    žižek called, he wants his hairy chest back

    • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen

      this was in reply to rachel; got ‘lost’ i guess

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VYDVROKY4PUBOKUHB3QF42FH2Y Paul S

    And what if you have NO theme?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1552230509 Blake Austin

    Me and my friend both have planets for our backgrounds. So here goes…

    Planets – You’re either a 20-year old homosexual alcoholic or a 19-year old heterosexual intellectual and you major in architecture at a school in central Texas. You’re a total nerd who knows exactly what you want to do with your life, but doesn’t know exactly how to get there. You’re either an atheist or a Muslim and you don’t really care for relationships because you’re married to school. You know the name of every planet or moon that pops up behind your e-mails and you hate chili. You chose this background simply cuz it was dark and the images were high-resolution/not a repeated pattern. You hate television. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002063779137 Lindsay Wade

      I am an 18-year old heterosexual majoring in architecture at UT Austin and I know that I am most definitely going to be an urban historical preservationist when I “grow up.” My name is Lindsay Wade and my gmail theme is planets. (yes, really)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1552230509 Blake Austin

        Wait, this is blowing my mind. Are you at UT right now? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002063779137 Lindsay Wade

    Also, agnostic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002063779137 Lindsay Wade

    h8 tv

  • http://mrianmbelcurry.tumblr.com/ Mr. Ian M. Belcurry

    You funny. I don’t even have gmail and I lol’d (on the inside). JC rules!

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