If there is one thing I have found out from being on Facebook -- aside from the incredible fact that I have more friends than the guy who founded it -- it's that a picture is indeed worth a thousand words.
I made this fascinating discovery recently when I posted a new profile photo of myself. I had it taken because my old photo, which was taken half a dozen years ago for my 50th birthday, was being used in bars all across this great land by drunken dart players. This just added to the holes in my head.
So I opted for an updated profile picture.
After being on Facebook since last year, I figured it was about time. Besides, practically everybody in the United States is on Facebook. My mother was on it before I was. Even my younger daughter's dog has her own Facebook page. And all of them are constantly changing their profile photos or posting new shots of themselves. Sometimes these pictures are not exactly flattering.
Therein lay my dilemma: Would my new photo actually look like me? Would my more than 400 Facebook friends mistake me for Freddy Krueger? Would people start sending my wife condolence cards?
Fortunately, I had the good sense to ask a colleague named Andreas, a talented photographer and a very patient guy, to shoot me. After the trouble I put him through, he probably wanted to.
But the result was worth it. The new photo, I must say with all due modesty, will not scare small children.
"It's nice," said Martha, who works at a nearby Apple store. I went there because I am so technologically inept that I needed a lesson in how to post my photo in places other than the post office.
The procedure is so astonishingly simple that even a kindergartner could do it. Unfortunately, I don't know any kindergartners, so I took a computer lesson.
Along with my original profile shot, photos of me have been posted, or "tagged," by other people. This was the first time I attempted to do it myself.
The reaction has been very gratifying.
Wendy wrote: "You don't age. Not fair."
My response: "I'm shockingly immature, Wendy. It makes me seem younger."
Bozena wrote: "Nice shot, Jerry. Nice coat, too."
My response: "Thanks, Bozena. I had to give the coat back after the photo shoot. I kept the pants."
Leland wrote: "What a great picture. That should be your 'If I ever get kidnapped, use this picture' picture."
My response: "If anybody kidnapped me, it would turn into 'The Ransom of Red Chief.' "
No comment yet from my younger daughter's dog, but I am sure she likes the picture, too.
This got me thinking: I wonder if Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg would like my new profile photo?
Except for money, power and influence, I have a lot in common with Zuckerberg, the subject of the new movie The Social Network, because, of course, our last names begin with Z.
So I went to his Facebook page. There was Mark, in all his geeky glory, grinning goofily in a black-and-white photo.
I wanted to friend him, and ask what he thinks of my new profile picture, but I couldn't. All I could do was click on "Like" and read his postings, one of which was about his "great day" on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Incredibly, and a little sadly, the genius behind Facebook has no friends.
Don't worry, Mark. I'll be your friend. But first, get a new profile picture.
Stamford Advocate columnist Jerry Zezima is the author of "Leave It to Boomer." More info at www.jerryzezima.blogspot.com. E-mail: JerryZ111@optonline.net.
Copyright 2010 by Jerry Zezima