When Length Matters

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Let's say you're sitting down at your computer and making your very first online profile. The "About Me" section is kind of tricky; you're not quite sure how to make yourself seem desirable without sounding like you're bragging. Luckily, there's all these other sections that you can tackle first: favorite movies, music, TV, books... You tackle those with enthusiasm and before you know it, you've got a list. A really, really long list.

It's tempting, when making an online profile, to list every single thing you're interested in; after all, who knows what small thing you'll bond over? But it's actually not necessary or desirable to have a laundry list profile.

It can't hurt to have too much information when you're still in the rough draft stage, but before you post the profile, get liberal with the backspace button. Let's say you're thinking to yourself, I can't cut these movies from my list! I could get passed over if they don't know I like Ferris Bueller's Day Off! However, you've already got The Breakfast Club on your list. You know how Netflix and Amazon can predict what you'll enjoy based on what you already like?

It's because people with similar interests tend to like the same groups of things. You don't have to include every little detail if you've already painted a broad picture one movie (or band, novel, etc.) from a sampling of the genres you enjoy will suffice.

Another reason why you don't want your profile to be too lengthy is the glaze factor. Essentially, one of the consequences of the Internet age is that we don't like to scroll if a page is long enough that we have to scroll very far down, we lose interest. Posting every detail is useless if the reader glazes over and leaves before they've even gotten halfway through.

I always like to say that a profile should be more like the back of a paperback novel it should leave the reader wanting more, and not give away the entire plot. In constructing your profile, remember that keeping it short and sweet is almost more important than being clever or interesting.