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International Update Your Bio Day Is August 10th

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This August 10th, 2020 will mark the first International Update Your Bio Day – a new, fun, made-up virtual holiday celebrating introspection and self-presentation.  Billions of people around the world describe themselves in pieces of short text within social media profiles (bios), and International Update Your Bio Day is a day for individuals to reflect on the words they choose to represent their online selves.  The idea was conceived by Dr. Jason J. Jones, a computational social scientist who studies temporal trends in the language of personally expressed identity.

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The official website (http://jasonjones.ninja/update-your-bio-day/) presents the holiday this way: “Check in on your online profiles and re-evaluate how you describe yourself. That short bit of text will be many people’s first impression of you. Does it say everything you would like? Is anything out of date? Use a few minutes today to update your bio. Celebrate your accomplishments and present an updated self. Use the hashtags #BioUpdate and #BioUpdateDay2020 to announce your new bio and see others.”

Why August 10th?  It looks about right: 8/10…810…BIO. Get it?

Dr. Jones and his research group use computational methods to study trends in personally expressed identity. Specifically, they have parsed Twitter account biographies from 2015 to the present to observe:

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Americans are adding political words (e.g. conservative, liberal) to their biographies much faster than they are removing them. As a result, self-descriptions which contain political keywords are increasing in prevalence and in late 2017 surpassed the prevalence of bios containing religious keywords (e.g. christian, Catholic).

The prevalence of users whose bios contain LGBTQ keywords has increased steadily, rising 47% from 2015 to 2018.  The fastest daily rates of increase are contained within June (Pride Month).

Dr. Jones says, “Studying personally expressed identity online is fascinating.  There are nearly limitless combinations of geography, time and aspects of identity to be examined, and we have just begun our work.  I hope to use my made-up holiday to share insight with the public every year and give them license to spend some time on introspection and plans for self-actualization.  When you are updating your bio this year, also think about what you hope to write next year.”

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