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  • Nelda Bedford Gaydou


For years, I have had neither the inclination nor the energy to spend time keeping up with social media profile pictures and statuses. In fact, that sort of thing is somewhat of a purgatory for me. Other people change their profile pictures and statuses to suit their mood, some as often as every day. I do have a profile photo on Facebook, posted in 2013 and never changed. The profile circles on the rest of my accounts are blank, and I easily ignore the occasional reminders to pick an image.

As my guide through this purgatory, Calico (my teenage granddaughter’s artistic alias) assured me that that simply would not do for my author account on Instagram. After failing to find a photo I liked, she agreed to draw a book nook that would serve as profile image and logo. Given her many and varied pursuits, nearly two months passed until she forwarded three images to me. They were delightful, varying only in background (day, night and clear). My sole requests were to change the hair color of the reader and add more books to the shelves.

A couple of weeks passed by. After two or three reminders, Calico decided to ride along with me one day while I took her brother to an appointment. We parked in the shade for our forty-five-minute wait and, after switching from the back seat to the front and lowering the windows, she was ready to work on my problem. Tapping and swiping the screen on her cell phone, she brought up one of the logo images in an art editing application. First, she tapped on a shade in the palette and then on the reader’s hair and hey, presto!, it was now brown. Next, she set about adding books to the shelves, scooting and stretching rectangular boxes until they were the right size in the right place, adding various colors. A couple of taps more, and the other two images were updated to match. In a few minutes, the job was complete, and she forwarded the finished products to my cell phone.

I was ready to add the profile picture, and asked Calico to walk me through it, which would hopefully impress the process on my mind. After a few seconds, however, she snatched the phone out of my hand and rapidly tapped from one step to another, inserting the image and stretching it until it filled the circle completely. I doubt that I will be able to change the profile image by myself in the future because the steps all blurred together. However, knowing myself, it probably won’t matter, and it will remain unchanged for the foreseeable future.

Our wait was now down to thirty minutes, which meant that we had enough time left to consider the next task in my social media purgatory: hashtags.

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