x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

A pretty Facebook profile

Social networking just got a whole lot better looking

Facebook used to reflect the social life of its users. Now it has become the goal in some of their activities. In Canada and the US, the make-up giant Estée Lauder is now offering free makeovers followed by a photo session so that Facebook users can glam up their profile pictures. Called "Your Beauty. Your Style. Your Profile", the event promises to get even more comments under your photos.

Oh, how times have changed. Remember a short while ago when the site was about keeping in touch with friends or family, perhaps the odd bout of casual spying? We've gone beyond using Facebook as a forum for sharing with friends moments of our real lives, to doing things in real life for the sole purposes of elevating our presence on the site. Of course, Estée Lauder isn't the first to prey on the insecurity of Facebookers. The dental hygiene product company Crest developed an application on the social networking site called Whiten It that allows people to whiten the colour of their teeth in uploaded photographs.

Facebook also has a more serious side. A Google search of how to use the site for professional networking brings up 71,800,000 hits. Among them is Mashable, a website that markets itself as a social media guide and explains that Facebook can be a fantastic professional networking tool. The site shows readers how to effectively create two separate sections of their profiles, separating business from personal.

A column published in the Seattle University Spectator has also lamented the fact that the writer's Facebook life may be better than his real life. "With the power of the internet at our fingertips, who needs the outside world any more? I ask myself why my virtual life is more interesting than my real life," Fernando Sioson wrote. "Announcing to the world that I'm busy clipping my toenails is a surprising rush."

A young couple I used to hang out with have been known to sit on different sofas in the same room, in complete silence, and have entire conversations on each other's Facebook walls. They are also of the school for whom no less than one status update is acceptable every time they move from one place to another, which seems to happen about 20 times a day. I'm pretty sure they communicate more with typed words than voice.

Perhaps their relationship needs a boost. Maybe they could surprise each other with a brand new profile picture. Someone should tell Estée Lauder to bring its profile picture makeovers here.