Who was Charles Horton Cooley?

HOO-R-U brings Charles Horton Cooley’s enduring social psychology theory into the era of massself-communication.

Charles Horton Cooley (August 17, 1864 – May 8, 1929) was a social psychologist, sociologist, and educator and is considered to be one of the fathers of American sociology. Cooley believed that human beings are essentially social in nature, and that a significant source of information about the world comes through human interaction with others, including the concept of one’s self. He is most famous for the concept of the “looking glass self,” the idea that how a person sees her- or himself, is based in part on the reaction of others. Cooley used this curious quote to explain his concept. “I am not who you think I am; I am not who I think I am; I am who I think you think I am.”

I am not whoyou think I am;I am not whoI think I am;I am who I thinkyou think I am.

The Looking Glass Self, (1902) – Charles Horton Cooley

Now magnify Cooley’s concept and speed it up. For millennia, people have pondered this question of ‘self’. Now with social media, the question of who we are is more complex than ever. You have hundreds of mirrors in different settings – all changing day to day and responding to different parts of yourself. There are the parts you share on Facebook, in Private Groups, on Instagram, on LinkedIn, on Dating sites… All of these mirrors, or looking glasses, affect your concept of self. Then, often without thinking, you project that self back to friends, employers, employees, college admission officers, or whoever you may care about. Sometimes what we do can have a profound impact on our off-line lives.

Who are you? We invite you to test HOO-R-U and Cooley’s theory. Take a 5 minute self-assessment and we’ll instantly show you your resulting profile covering 5 nuanced dimensions of who you are today on social media. This is not about superficial things such as likes or numbers of followers; this goes to the deeper question of who you are and what you project to the online world. You’ll see how your profile dimensions compare to the population of your own peer group.

HOO-R-U puts you in control of your own life. Your HOO-R-U profile tells you what you really are communicating about yourself. It prods you to think how you really want to project yourself online. It allows you to check how well you are doing from time to time. The HOO-R-U Profile is personal; it is based on how important each element of your profile is to you and only you. The HOO-R-U Profile is also relative; It is calculated in a way that takes into account how you stack up compared to people who are most similar to you in age, gender and education.


HOO-R-U works for you, only you. We are neither sharing with nor selling your HOO-R-U Profile to anyone. While many social media entities treat their users as the product—by making user data available to advertisers and other interested parties—with HOO-R-U you are not the product. Your HOO-R-U Profile belongs only to you. If you want to share with friends, or even compare scores, that’s up to you. What’s more, we do not store anything that connects you to your profile on our servers.