So hi, I'm Tegan, and I'm terrible with faces. It doesn't matter if we've actually met before in person or have just mutually followed and chatted via social media for ages. Basically there's a huge chance I will not recognise you in person.
I never thought this was me. I would never have said yeah I'm great with faces, but I have a pretty good memory. I just sort of assumed I was good. Until on multiple occasions I was left red faced not knowing who someone was. Trust me it's much worse if we've actually met and spoken in person before.
People do look different in photos than they do in real life, granted. I can tell myself that that is a perfectly reasonable answer. But honestly I only seem to really be able to recall someone if I have specifically noted something about their appearance that's unique.
Recently I remembered a girl who came into my workplace, she hadn't bought anything off me but I had chatted to her about how much I loved her pinafore. I remember her being incredibly lovely and when she came back I was able to recall who she was and how i recognised her.
Something that's definitely important when it comes to recalling people I believe, is the situation in which you met them. In this case since the girl was in the same spot, it was much easier. If I had seen her down the street or in a cafe there's a huge chance I would have no idea who she was.
Something super interesting is a social experiment where these people come into an office, they know they're doing an experiment but they don't know what it is. So they got to sign in at reception, but spoiler, the interaction at reception is actually the experiment.
There's a few levels of variations but basically they speak to someone behind the counter, and then the person who's in on it, they will duck behind the counter to get a file and change something about themselves before popping back up. The first few times they're only wearing a different coloured shirt. But then they start bringing back up a different person, first a different guy in the same shirt and then different shirts altogether.
I found this super interesting because people were seriously not noticing. Unless they had specifically noted something they had found interesting about the persons face or shirt. Your brain just didn't find it important enough to recall.
Then there's the cognitive disorder of not being able to recognise faces, whether it's your mothers or your own face in the mirror. Prosopagnosia. But that's a whole other can of worms.
I'm generally unable to remember how tall someone is, I just assume they're taller than me because I know I am short, but it's something I strangely don't tend to notice. I don't notice specific things about a persons face or appearance unless I study it quite closely.
So sorry if you run into me and I have no idea who you are. It's not you, it's not that you're not notable or interesting. I'm just terrible with faces.