Social Scientist Announces Cash Giveaway via Twitter Contest in Celebration of Second Annual ‘International Update Your Bio Day’

STONY BROOK, N.Y., Aug. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Dr. Jason Jeffrey Jones officially announced a Twitter contest to pair with the upcoming celebration of International Update Your Bio Day on August 10. An Associate Professor for the Department of Sociology and Institute for Advanced Computational Science at Stony Brook University, Dr. Jones originally created the holiday to both encourage self-reflection and share his research. Now in its second year, he hopes more people will become intrigued – as he has – with "temporal trends in the language of personally expressed identity." The contest is simple, asking participants to like, retweet, and follow @UpdateBio to qualify for a $10 cash prize.

"Billions of people around the world describe themselves in pieces of short text within social media profiles (bios)," said Dr. Jones. "I am curious what we can learn about ourselves from this behavior, so International Update Your Bio Day was created to help share that curiosity. I’m hoping people will stop, take a few moments to reflect, and really consider how they wish to express their identity to the world."

"On August 10th, check in on your online profiles and re-evaluate how you describe yourself. Your bio – 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 Is anything out of date? Celebrate your accomplishments and present an updated self, using an updated bio. Use the hashtags #BioUpdate and #BioUpdateDay2021 to announce your new bio and see others." 

Online Bios: Using Short Text to Express Personal Identity

Beginning with Twitter biographies in 2015, Dr. Jones and his team use a complex system of computational methods to study both how people personally express their identity and how that changes over time. Dr. Jones’s observations have noted a great deal, including:

  • Americans are rapidly polarizing in political identity, adding descriptors and tag phrases like "conservative" or "liberal" to their biographies. These keywords within self-descriptions are dramatically increasing in prevalence, and by late 2017, surpassed religious keywords like "Christian," "Catholic," etc.
  • The use of LGBTQ keywords within user bios has steadily increased, rising 47% percent from 2015 to 2018. The fastest daily increase rates take place during June (Pride Month). Dr. Jones’s group is now currently investigating whether this increase in public disclosure will continue unabated, especially related to the recent Supreme Court ruling protecting LGBTQ employees from discrimination.

"Studying personally expressed identity online is fascinating," said Dr. Jones. "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."

About Dr. Jason J. Jones

Director of the Computational Social Science of Emerging Realities Group, Dr. Jones is a widely published scholar whose work has been featured in The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. An expert in the ways social media and online expression have molded and shaped our personal identities, especially concerning the ways people express themselves publicly, Dr. Jones teaches at Stony Brook University in the Department of Sociology and Institute for Advanced Computational Science. Learn more about International Update Your Bio Day and Dr. Jones’s ongoing work at:

Media Contact:

Dr. Jason Jeffrey Jones, Director of the Computational Social Science of Emerging Realities Group

SOURCE Dr. Jason Jeffrey Jones