The reality of deceiving profile pictures


The lies. The deception. The shame. The profile picture. 


Obsessed with the “likes” and “hearts” on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram, students are putting more effort into the way their social network images are presented.


With the increasing popularity of picture enhancing applications on most smartphones, students have the ability to alter images at their fingertips. It’s become easier for users to present themselves in a more appealing fashion.


“Students are more apt to present themselves in a false light” said Deborah Evans, a clinical psychologist at Capital Health Center in Tallahassee. ” Of course everyone wants to seem appealing to others, but students in particular struggle with trying to be liked .”


 Millions of Instagram users post pictures and choose settings that will make their images appear better than the originals.


“After meeting some of my Instagram and Twitter followers, I’ve realized that most people do not look the same as their profile pictures,” said Antonio Williams, a sophomore music education student from Tampa. “It’s actually kind of frightening.”


Williams admits to meeting an Instagram follower in the Orange Room on FAMU’s campus. He said her presence shocked him because unlike her photo, she had bad acne. 


 Someone may appear to have flawless skin, beauty and the body of a celebrity, but be cautious, they may look totally different.


 There are throngs of websites that individuals can use to meet new friends or for blind dates. 


Though Twitter is a site used for constant updates, it may not be a good idea to post unnecessary information about your personal life. But, like many social networks, it’s to the discretion of the user to figure out what pictures and posts they want  followers to see.     


The problem is not the actual use of these social networks, but rather the content that someone posts. 


“I feel like people use the Internet to boost their personal lives,” said Kacey Brown, a third-year psychology student from Pensacola. “Becoming Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr famous to some people is only made possible by being naked.” 


Brown feels that some people get validation about their over-sexualized appearance and raunchy conversation through the amount of followers a Twitter or Instagram user gains. 


Sex appeal attracts  the human eye, and on most social networks, as a profile picture you will see a male with his shirt off or a half-dressed female showing little to no clothing, usually blowing a kiss towards the camera. 


Though the edited version of their profile picture seems sexy, it does not guarantee the original product.


“Some people’s pictures are deceiving yet entertaining,” said De’Marcus Means, a third-year architecture student from Houston, Texas. “To see how much people can alter the lighting of the picture to change their true complexion is quite hilarious.” 


Means continued, “In our generation, sex has gotten easier to get. Lies are told daily with the settings of Instagram, and profile pictures are overrated.”