Putting your best foot forward is not always easy. For one, you may have flat feet (a condition also known to as "pes planus" or "toes of woe"). Secondly, there is the natural anxiety that comes with making a first impression. This is especially true online, where you don't have the luxury of face-to-face contact to compensate for the deficiencies of your digital personality.

This is why selecting an appropriate avatar or profile picture is crucially important to establishing a satisfactory online identity. When someone arrives on one of your social media profiles, whether it be Facebook or Twitter or HoffSpace (the social network for fans of David Hasselhoff), you want to visually project confidence. Furthermore, you want to project happiness at all costs.

Considering that there is no happier place in the contiguous United States than our fair Boulder, you should take great pains to make your Boulderishness obvious in any userpic you upload. Upon sight, you want people to think, "That person is clearly from Boulder and radiates good vibes or whatever." Here's how to do it.

Wear sunglasses

Boulder is recognized as being one of the sunniest locales in the Milky Way Galaxy. We get something like 500 days of sunshine a year, according to some figures that my CU intern pulled together. That means there are plenty of opportunities to wear sunglasses. So when you're choosing a photo to represent you on Facebook, say "Yay, man!" to Ray-Bans. Your gloomy friends in the Pacific Northwest will resent you forever.


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Wear a dog

My friends at the pound told me that Boulder is home to 4.1 billion dogs. They're everywhere, and their incessant panting has become the soundtrack to my summer. At any rate, dogs are an adorable Boulder staple. Put one in your default Google+ photo. I recommend staging a photo where you and your pooch are staring at each other. It suggests that you're equals, when in fact only one of you bathes on the regular.

Be outside in your photo

No list of Boulderish qualities would be complete without mentioning grass or mountains or whatever it is that populates most of the shelves at Art Mart. When it's time to add a photo to your LinkedIn profile to attain 100-percent completeness, take a hike out to "Makeout Point" and snap a photo of yourself with Boulder laid out behind you like a pretentious sea.

Wear a McGuckin vest

Some people will tell you that the representative raiment of Boulder is a yellow Colorado Buffaloes T-shirt. Others will insist that a cage-free cardigan is the most appropriate choice to sartorially embody the town. False! If you want to show your true Boulder colors in your Twitter avatar, pose for the photo while wearing a green McGuckin vest. It's classic like Vlasic (which is a brand of pickles, which are also green).

We spread ourselves thin with work obligations, family duties and the tattered remnants of the social lives we willfully neglect but cling to desperately. Maintaining a consistent online identity that not only captures your musty essence but also acknowledges Boulder's holy granola is a challenge. However, I believe in you. I want you to serve as a steward for our city. You are Boulder's "Like" button. Make yourself worth clicking.