Why some people don't put their real photos as profile pictures

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

A picture of a cat

Why would someone put a picture of a cat or a picture of a baby instead of their own picture?
Why would someone put the picture of a famous actor in their profile picture?
Why would someone put any other person or object in a place that should only contain their personal picture?

If a person did that few times in their lives or once every now and then because of wanting to achieve a certain goal then there would be no problem at all. This article discusses the ones who always keep pictures of objects in their profile pictures and hardly put any pictures of themselves.

Here are some of the possible explanations for this behaviour:

why some people don't put their real photos as profile pictures

  • 1) The person is neurotic: Neurotic people have a hard time controlling their emotions or impulses. Neurotic people are more likely to put pictures of objects instead of their own pictures in order to hide themselves from others or to hide their emotions.
  • 2) They are paranoid: Paranoid people are more likely to avoid putting pictures on social media or to even avoid having an account all together. Those people always feel that someone is watching them or trying to harm them and so they avoid putting any kind of personal information online. See also Understanding schizophrenia and paranoia from an Adlerian perspective
  • 3) They have self image issues: People who have self image issues or who do not think they look good might avoid taking pictures or putting them online. If the person believes they don't look good or if they believe they don't look good in pictures then they might avoid putting any pictures online. See also Why you look ugly in pictures
  • 4) Low self esteem: People with low self esteem or a weak sense of identity might avoid putting their personal picture in their profile picture. A typical person would usually have a little sense of pride in who they are and this is why they usually get motivated to put a profile picture. Those who don't put any profile picture might be having self esteem issues that make them lack any sense of pride in who they are. See also How to spot egoistic people
  • 5) They have trust issues: People who have trust issues might not feel comfortable sharing any personal detail with others including their own pictures. Those people might believe that others might misuse those pictures if they found them. And while the possibility that someone missuses a picture is always there still the ones who have trust issues are the ones who focus the most on that possibility. See 10 signs someone has trust issues
  • 6) To create fake identities: Sometimes people try to create fake identities to avoid being who they are. People who are not satisfied with who they are are more likely to create a fake identity to become someone that they are not.
  • 7) They are afraid of rejection: People who fear rejection ,especially when it comes to being judged based on their looks, might fear putting any profile picture online. By doing so those people would have achieved the goal of avoiding any feedback on their looks

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Want to know more?

How the angle of a picture affects your attractiveness

What does taking too many selfies mean

How to become more photogenic

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