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More Ways The Internet Makes You Insecure
February 4, 2009 9:15 AM   Subscribe

How Old Are You? Guess people's ages based on submitted photos. (via)
posted by The Whelk (57 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Many of these people seemed to be fishing for, "People always tell me I look 10-15 years younger than I really am!!!11!!"

No, I clicked, "45" and was only 3 years off (you're actually 42).
posted by availablelight at 9:20 AM on February 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sheesh, I'm doing terribly.
posted by thebigdeadwaltz at 9:20 AM on February 4, 2009


For one dollar I'll guess you weight, your height, or your sex.
posted by Cookiebastard at 9:25 AM on February 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


I did something like this once. People thought I was in my 40s when I'm in my 20s. Of course, I'm very not photogenic, but even so, I don't think I'll do it again.
posted by Caduceus at 9:29 AM on February 4, 2009


Age-guessing Rule #1: Drug addicts are always the hardest.
posted by wabashbdw at 9:34 AM on February 4, 2009


Ah... It's a profit deal! Takes the pressure off. *throws away cuecards* Take a chance and win some crap!
posted by DU at 9:36 AM on February 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Age-guessing Rule #2: To guess a woman's age, look at her hands. They always tell the real story.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:37 AM on February 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I think this has as much to do with the details of the photograph (e.g. the location and items in the background, the attire, the pose) as it has to do with the innate age of the person.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:37 AM on February 4, 2009


I was going to say the facial expression.

Earnest and/or pensive = Under 20
Ironic = 20-28
"Look how much fun I'm still having!!!" = 28-40
Blurry = More than 40
posted by DU at 9:40 AM on February 4, 2009 [13 favorites]


Age-guessing Rule #2: To guess a woman's age, look at her hands. They always tell the real story.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:37 AM on February 4 [+] [!]


Not true in the slightest. While most women's hands are a certain way by later age, a surprisingly large percentage of young women have what you could consider "old" hands.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 9:40 AM on February 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


There should be a rule against low-quality webcam shots or dim, flattering lighting.
posted by cranberrymonger at 9:41 AM on February 4, 2009


Ah! Don't be fooled by Nikki (a set of young-looking eyes in a highly contrasted black-and-white photo).
posted by cranberrymonger at 9:44 AM on February 4, 2009


I just guess everyone is 11 or 80 to throw the averages way off.
posted by GuyZero at 9:45 AM on February 4, 2009


Who cares how old they are? How do I hook up with these hot singles tonight?
posted by orme at 9:47 AM on February 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Someone upload Dick Clark's photo and watch it implode.
posted by starman at 9:53 AM on February 4, 2009


oldornot.com
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:55 AM on February 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm pretty good! The grainy pictures are almost impossible.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 9:56 AM on February 4, 2009


Haha, wow, I'm really good at this. I feel vindicated. The only ones I've been more than a year or two off on are those ones where you can only see maybe an inch of face.
posted by internet!Hannah at 9:58 AM on February 4, 2009


Weird, I would have guessed that I'd be way off on estimating peoples ages, but on the whole I'm almost always withing 2 years of correct. My most inaccurate was guessing that a guy was five years older than he actually was.

I guess I can finally quite this damn soul crushing corporate job and finally live the fantasy that is taking IDs outside a local bar.
posted by quin at 9:59 AM on February 4, 2009


I could not be worse at this. Either they look 16, early 20s, or nebulously "older." Once you get past babyfaced youth, it's impossible for me to tell, or even guess.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:01 AM on February 4, 2009


Guessing ages is practically impossible, which makes it difficult when it's your job, i.e., selling age restricted products. Here in the UK, they recently started a "think 21" policy, meaning that whilst the drinking/smoking age was still 18, if you looked under 21, you'd get ID'd. It was supposed to make the task easier, but in reality, it makes little difference. And the real reality is that age restrictions are completely arbitrary - some people are mature enough to drink at 16, and a great many more will never be mature enough. I've sold alcohol to someone older than 18 and been threatened with a fine by the police before - because he drank the entire 4 pack one after another right outside the store and then proceeded to intimidate passersby. But yeah, fun game!
posted by Acey at 10:02 AM on February 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I like that after the guessing you get to see their actual age, plus the average age of the guesses. Perhaps it would make an interesting sociological study if the guesses were broken down by gender? So that we could see if men and women consistly overage or underage the same or different gender. Might be useful in court, at least...

Actually, also with that the guesser could give their own age, and rate the person for perceived attractiveness. Like maybe when men find women attractive, do they always judge their age to be less than their own? You know, to assure themselves that they fit into the young = attractive equation.

There are so many possibilities to turn this into something incredibly enlightening. But still, a fun game.
posted by Sova at 10:07 AM on February 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not as easy as I thought... I must've clicked 13 at least fifty times in a row until I got a correct answer.
posted by daniel_charms at 10:37 AM on February 4, 2009


It looks like MySpace angles transcend age limits.
posted by Locative at 10:39 AM on February 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Damn -- I'm pretty good at guessing these. Go figure. Usually within a year or two on most. But for one dude, I was 13 years off. Ah...the magic of black and white.

I'm afraid to upload my own mug, because I'm the guy who used to get sent out to buy beer in high school. The ensuing years have taken their toll (although I'm arguably in better shape at 47 than I was at 27).
posted by VicNebulous at 10:39 AM on February 4, 2009


this is gonna be the next hot or not.
posted by krautland at 10:41 AM on February 4, 2009


The first photo I got had *two* people in it: which one am I supposed to focus on?
posted by jrochest at 10:43 AM on February 4, 2009


jrochest:
The unfortunate rule on social networking sites: it's the uglier one.
posted by amuseDetachment at 10:58 AM on February 4, 2009


I always thought I was just exceptionally bad at figuring out ages. Nice to have company.
posted by cashman at 11:00 AM on February 4, 2009


this confirmed something I have always known about myself - I suck at guessing people's ages - I was adding 10+ years to multiple people.
posted by Julnyes at 11:03 AM on February 4, 2009


I seem to keep guessing teenagers are in their 40's. This could get me in trouble in the long run...
posted by Aversion Therapy at 11:04 AM on February 4, 2009


I had to quit after I guessed a 22-year-old girl as being 35. I really felt so terrible, and entertained weird fantasies of seeking her out and apologizing to her. God knows how I get out of bed every morning.
posted by Skot at 11:06 AM on February 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


How do I factor in babies? Is it a prop, to make him look younger (like his rebellious leather jacket)? Is the baby the real subject of the photo? Or are you supposed to average their ages? I closed the page, so I will never know.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:07 AM on February 4, 2009


FaceStat is a much better site for doing the same thing, in my opinion. Except as well as asking people to guess your age, there is a list of other characteristics to choose from when you submit your picture including: intelligence, political affiliation, weight, ethnicity, attractiveness, trustworthiness, relationship status, best/worst feature, level of intoxication, and even whether you would win in a fight with a mid-sized dog. Something everyone wants to know, of course.

There is also a field where people have to describe you in one word. Which is how I learned that sliskig is Swedish for insipid. Thanks, random Swedish guy!
posted by paradoxflow at 11:23 AM on February 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Too much boobs.
posted by peggynature at 11:50 AM on February 4, 2009


I'm surprisingly pretty good at this. I wonder if there's a way I could profit from this?
posted by Dr-Baa at 11:51 AM on February 4, 2009


Takeaway: I look GOOD for my age.
posted by padraigin at 11:53 AM on February 4, 2009


I had to quit after I guessed a 22-year-old girl as being 35. I really felt so terrible, and entertained weird fantasies of seeking her out and apologizing to her.

I cried aloud "Sorry! Sorry!" after marking an 18 year old as 35.
posted by Locative at 12:07 PM on February 4, 2009


I say we add a picture of Earth and let democracy sort out the whole business.
posted by shadytrees at 12:18 PM on February 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think your ability to be able to do this depends on how old you are. As a 40 year old, I know exactly what everyone younger than me is thinking. I know what the smirk means, and you have to have been 27 to know too.

Everyone older than me? Might as well be 100.
posted by salishsea at 12:23 PM on February 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


I keep guessing people are 10 years younger than they really are, which I imagine is a residual social-lubricant reflex.

"38? No, you're kissing me!"


I look 35. I have looked 35 since I was 16. My father is 54. He looks 35. I can only hope for the best.
posted by The Whelk at 12:39 PM on February 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I recently had an embarassing real-life confirmation that I am VERY, VERY BAD at guessing ages. I'm not going anywhere NEAR that site.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:52 PM on February 4, 2009


Working at the front desk of a hotel for years made me pretty good at eyeballing people's age before seeing their passport (I guessed at about a dozen pictures here, and was never once off by more than two years).

I found that guessing my own age for anyone who looks five to ten years older than the guy in the mirror really paid off on this site. By the end of my hotel days, I was continually astonished that these wrinkled, greying people checking in could possibly be my Gen X contemporaries.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:41 PM on February 4, 2009


1. Repeatedly mark 80 on all subjects.
2. Watch mean scores go up, and chuckle at poor choice of descriptive statistic for central tendency and failure to account for outliers in cheap algorithm.
3. Imagine insecure subjects' dismay at rising average ages.
4. Schadenfreude!!!?1?

Ah, I miss my teenage dweeb self sometimes...
posted by drpynchon at 1:42 PM on February 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


Kidding me! Kidding!

Damn Freudian typos.
posted by The Whelk at 2:17 PM on February 4, 2009


i've gotten right every single person over the age of 45. weird.
posted by liza at 3:06 PM on February 4, 2009


"Look how much fun I'm still having!!!" = 28-40

/me checks own facebook profile shot, weeps.
posted by Catch at 4:47 PM on February 4, 2009


I'm averaging +-2, with some really off answers...but mostly I can tell. Some of the pictures are deceiving, but I guess that's the point. We judge more than just an image when guessing ages...
posted by Chuffy at 4:52 PM on February 4, 2009


Oh, I started clicking through an hour ago! (have done some other stuff since then). How you tell the age is nothing to do with lines on faces ... the sweet-and-nasty addictive kick to this is the JUDGING .... hmm, look at her, wearing her black eyeliner all the way 'round ... has to be at least as old as my 13yr old self's 18yr old sister we used to copy ... oh, but look at the heavy-metal hair she's still clinging to *snicker* .... 38!

This is evil and very bad for me.
posted by Catch at 5:53 PM on February 4, 2009


How is this supposed to make me feel insecure again?
posted by Eideteker at 5:59 PM on February 4, 2009


And the ages are verified how?
posted by Lesser Shrew at 6:29 PM on February 4, 2009


It would be better if it told you the average number of years wrong your guesses have been, rather than the average age. Assuming the distribution of ages is more or less random, the latter is a pretty useless statistic.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:43 PM on February 4, 2009


How is this supposed to make me feel insecure again?

You have a stronger ego than I sir.
posted by The Whelk at 6:59 PM on February 4, 2009


It would be better if it told you the average number of years wrong your guesses have been, rather than the average age. Assuming the distribution of ages is more or less random, the latter is a pretty useless statistic.

Erm, no. It's not the average age you've guessed for all the photos, it's the average age everyone has guessed for that photo.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:33 PM on February 4, 2009


If I'm 45 but uploaded a pic of myself at 44, am I being dishonest? Because that's what I just did.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:17 PM on February 4, 2009


The facestat link contains at least one photo that is very much NSFW. wow

wish someone had warned me.
posted by auntbunny at 9:41 PM on February 4, 2009


A personal story of AGE GUESSING FAIL and why I will never submit my picture to such a site, and will never be a candidate for TLC's "10 Years Younger":

I really do look 10 years younger than I am. And I'm 27. It's embarrassing.

I have to wear jeans/tshirts/hoodies to work because I'm nannying for a potty-training two year old and indeed, not five minutes after this conversation took place I was up to my elbows cleaning up an "accident."

So, most people assume I'm Schmoopette's mom - we're both white, blue eyes, freckles. It's certainly a reasonable assumption. I'm definitely the right age where I could feasibly have a 2 1/2 year old of my own.

We were playing in the library after storytime and mid-small talk, a librarian asked me if I'm her mom or her nanny. I said that I'm her nanny, to which she replied "Oh, I thought so, you look much too young to be her mom."

I'M TWENTY SEVEN. I'M NOT EIGHTEEN. THNX. GEEZ.

People tell me I'll be grateful someday, but in the meantime, I'm wicked annoyed.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:59 AM on February 5, 2009


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