Creative Assignment 1

Made by Nazli

Created: September 18th, 2015



I want to put someone else's photo as my profile picture and see what reaction I get.

I'll put a picture of a friend from US on WhatsApp and only my friends from Turkey use WhatsApp, so they won't know about my friend. The goal is to see if people notice, how fast they notice and how they will react. Will they be surprised but amused? Will they be upset by the confusion? Or will they not care at all? There have been times where I put a photo of myself by myself, there have been times where I put pictures with someone else and there have been so many times I have put a photo of a food that I like or made since I really love food. However, putting a photo of someone else without me in the picture is not something I do, and it is not something people do usually.



I wanted to put someone else’s photo as my profile picture so an important question would be to put whose photo. I didn’t want to put a photo of someone I didn’t know. I use WhatsApp in Turkey and nearly none of my friends in US use it, so I decided to put a picture of a friend in US. I had a difficult time choosing whose photo to put. I thought about putting another girl, putting a guy, putting two girls, putting two guys, putting one girl and one guy and at the end, I chose to put a photo of one of my closest friends in Carnegie Mellon so that it would be easy to ask permission and honestly, because it would be more fun that way then putting a photo of someone I don’t know that well. My friends from Turkey have never met him and he has never met my friends from Turkey. So they wouldn’t know who he is, which is what I wanted to do.



I looked at pictures from last year and chose a picture of him as we were walking to Gates. I didn’t change or modify it. The picture is from the side, but it is obvious that the person in the picture isn’t me. The photo is always next to the name in WhatsApp, both when talking to them and when looking at the Chats section which shows the most recent people chatted, their profile picture and the last sentence in the chat. So for example, this is the page when chatting:


And this is the Chats page that is used very often:


Here is my old profile picture:


Here is my new profile picture:



My first expectation was getting less messages. People that I talk with frequently would be sure that the number was mine, but if a friend that I haven’t talked to in a while decided to text me, then they would have looked at the picture, realized it was not me, and not text me. And this actually did happen. I only got texts from the two people I talk with every day and my brother. I talked to another friend because I started the conversation but he studies in CMU so he probably knew the friend in the picture. So there were four people total who I’ve talked to with this photo. Two of them (the friends who texted me first) realized immediately and the other friend and my brother didn’t realize it. It’s interesting that my brother and friend didn’t realize it since I talked a long while with both of them and it’s been a while since I’ve last changed it and the picture is always next to the name, both when you’re texting and when you’re looking at the Chats list. I would have expected them to notice that something is different.



I’ve learned that the profile photos create a place in people’s minds. Friends who saw my old profile photo everyday realized the change immediately. Other people, even my brother, didn’t realize that it had changed. My old profile photo was me and my brother on our birthday when we were very little. The new photo was my friend sideways and the picture was taken outside gates and during the winter. That is a big difference.

If I was going to do something differently, I’m not sure what I would do. I was happy with the picture I had and mostly got the kind of effect I expected. I may have let it stay longer to see if people who haven’t realized it would realize, but on the other hand, I don’t want someone to think it’s the wrong number when they try to contact me so I wouldn’t do it. I think I was happy with this experiment I did. It was both interesting and fun.