Tuesday, October 7, 2014

why I'm not changing my profile picture to "I'm a Mormon"

I have a million other things I should be doing right now, but I just keep thinking about this.

Many of my friends have changed their profile pictures to colored blocks that read "I'm a Mormon". You can find out how that all started here.

I'm a Mormon. That is actually something that I let define me. It's a very large and important part of my life. I, too, am excited about the "Meet the Mormons" movie coming out. I think it's going to be pretty cool.

I'm also a social media nerd. Social media is my career. I was giddy with excitement when David A. Bednar spoke on using social media to "share goodness".  I'm not sure that I actually think that changing your profile picture to read "I'm a Mormon" is wrong. What I do think is that there are better ways to share goodness.

And here's the other part: I'm getting a sense that this profile picture movement is causing a sense of divisiveness. See this Imgur album. The photo album is lighthearted and somewhat mocking this profile picture movement (and I'm tempted to change my profile picture to the one that says "I am Batman") but I think it makes a really good point. I understand that the intention of this profile picture week is to say "Hey, I'm a Mormon! You can ask me questions, I'd love to tell you about what I believe." But in some ways, it's turned Facebook even more into high school. I.e. "That's where the popular kids sit, that's where the jocks sit, and that's where the Mormons sit." You know?

Here's what I think would be really cool: Mormons being humans. Talking to other humans. And all humans sharing goodness and truth in whatever form they find it. I promise you, we're never all going to agree with everything everyone puts on Facebook. And that is OKAY! That's kind of the beauty of humanity - we're unique. AND we all have the ability to choose. To feel and to decide for ourselves. Truth is out there in so many places. I know that changing your profile picture to represent your beliefs isn't you trying to say that you're better than someone or that you know the only source of truth. I know that you want to share your truth with the world. I just think that sharing truth and sharing goodness is a lot more about creating friendships with other humans in a way that allows you to share truth with each other, no matter the source of that truth.

I'd never tell anyone they're wrong for having an "I'm a Mormon" profile picture. And perhaps I'm missing the point in some way. By all means, I could be wrong. But I, personally, am not going to change my profile picture. I will share goodness. Sometimes that may be in the form of scriptures, other times it's going to be quotes from Steve Jobs, and sometimes it's probably posting too many pictures of my food on Instagram (snocones ARE goodness). I will boldly declare that I am a Mormon, a graphic designer, someone who likes oreos perhaps a little too much. But I'm not going to replace my face with a label. I want my friends to know who I am because they know me. I am Elise.
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