For those of you that don’t know, I’m going into my third and final year of college this fall. This means that this is my last summer to be a dumb kid and have fun because once I graduate I’ll be hitting the ground running looking for a “real” job. And while we’re gradually moving in the right direction, it is still commonplace for many businesses to discriminate against tattoos, piercings, and unnatural hair colours. Since I turned 18 I’ve gotten two tattoos in places that I can hide and a septum piercing that I can flip up into my nose and hide. My hair, however, I can’t hide.
I decided that I’d take a risk. I wanted to do something crazy before I have to become a working class professional. Although I do hope that wherever I end up working will allow me to express myself for the colourful person I am. I certainly won’t settle for only having two tattoos, neither of which I can show off easily. Ever since I cut my hair and dyed it I’ve been getting a lot of compliments, mostly from strangers, which is cool. I feel great, so I thought I’d do a little experiment.
24 hours ago I posted this picture on my personal Instagram account and on Facebook at the same time to compare the post statistics. I didn’t write a description as that could alter the results. Typically, the majority of Instagram users are ages 16-24 and for Facebook, most users are ages 25-34. This means that I act more my age on Instagram and make myself more family friendly for Facebook. Was I to do a description for this picture I would say, “Teal hair, don’t care.” on Instagram and on Facebook I would give a short blurb of why I dyed my hair and how empowering it was. The typical Facebook user would eat that right up, whereas on Instagram I’ve noticed descriptions are either short and sweet or extremely long if it’s about empowerment, going against societal pressures, human rights, etc. Okay, time for the results!
On Facebook, I received 14 likes and 3 comments. To give a frame of reference, I have 180 Facebook friends; always remember to show the audience number when giving statistics or the numbers mean nothing. I have 242 followers on Instagram, where I received 35 likes and 1 comment. This means that 8% of my Facebook friends liked my photo in comparison to Instagram, where 14% of my followers liked my picture.
I know, I’m so popular.
What I learned from this experiment is the younger users of Instagram will gladly double-tap a photo, but won’t often take the effort to comment on a photo. Whereas the slightly older audience on Facebook won’t always like a photo, but they are more likely to take the time to comment. Regardless of the internet’s reaction to my drastic hair change, I’m glad I did it. So, I’d like you all to do something. Do something crazy, something you’ve always wanted to do, or admired others for doing. It may not work out, but it could work out better than you’d ever imagined. Because honestly, life is too damn short not to. Don’t hide who you are. Just dive in and do it, then let me know how it went in the comments.
I dare you.