Have you ever met someone in person after making an appointment online? Many people increased their online presence in the past few years, with social media, personal websites, and more becoming important ways to connect and work remotely. Most platforms allow for a profile photo to be included. How long have you updated yours?

It's a hello. Craig Toron of Toron Photography says, "whether we like it or not, we live in a visual world" People gained weight, lost weight, or stopped dying their hair over the last year. The photos we use to represent ourselves online may be different from the ones we use in person.

When we see someone's picture for the first time, there's always a moment of recalibration. It might be more of a question of how much internal adjustment occurs. Meeting someone who is more attractive in person than their profile is a pleasant surprise. Meeting a physician who looks younger than they are in their photo may make you question their experience.

A two-dimensional picture can't give a general idea of how someone looks, but photos can. It's not possible to tell height and stature from a photo. There were therapy patients who I hadn't yet met in person because we started meeting via teletherapy. I only saw them from the shoulders up until this year. I had to change my picture of who the patients were after I discovered they were taller or shorter than I had thought. It gave me an idea of how they are perceived by other people. One of the areas of growth I like to encourage is cognitive flexibility, the ability to shift your perspective or how you think. When changing initial impressions, the level and speed at which you cover can be determined by how flexible you are.

Some people will make assumptions about you based on a photo and that's not a good thing. The first thing people see is the difference between how you look in a photo and how you look in person, according to a retired human resources executive. You want to show that you are reliable. You leave yourself open to interpretation of being less than honest if you don't represent yourself correctly, because we all have unconscious biases. Most of the time, a resume doesn't include a profile photo, but recruiters look at social media platforms. You don't want to be seen as being fake.

It may be easier to not include a profile photo if you are worried about discrimination. A lack of a photo can make a fake profile look less trustworthy. It can be easier to dismiss someone and find a reason not to pursue them as a candidate if a viewer wonders what you're trying to hide.