Jul 03, 2014 10:21
by Maggie Kelly
In my mid-twenties, I am already a relic.
No, not because I still catch buses, or have the largest collection of skivvies in the Southern Hemisphere. I am one of the last to remember Life Before Facebook.
Young as I may have been, I can still recall a time when major life events would be kept to friends and family only, when a bad hair day would be remembered by only your best friend (if she was a bitch) and when you would have no idea what your entire high school year was up to a decade after graduating. The difference between Life Before Facebook and Life After Facebook comes down to one thing: privacy.
Here we are, tit-deep in a world where things don’t actually happen until they happen on Facebook. Birthdays, births, deaths, travels, triumphs and tribulations are carefully curated and documented on the Infinite and Resoundingly Permanent Scrapbook that is The Internet, thus sparking the question: Who is the rightful author of our online identity?
A few weeks ago I was tagged in a particularly hideous party snap. Mid conversation, my mouth wrenched open, probably delivering some astoundingly offensive comment to match my expression. My hand is waving around in the air and my dress length is bordering on inappropriate. It’s a crap shot. As we used to say in ye olden days – it wouldn’t have made the family photo album. And yet, there it was, permanent, existing, viewed by an infinite amount of people I will probably never know.
There is a certain social etiquette when it comes to tagged photos: Is the shot really bad? Don’t upload it. Or if you do, don’t tag the poor hideous creature pictured. Is the shot OK? Upload it. But if the poor hideous creature pictured protests, take it down immediately. I haven’t had to do this more than a handful of times. My friends and I have a limited window of photogenic moments, generally before the second bottle is opened, but the dialogue is usually pretty close to the following:
Me: “Hey dude, I look like an Ewok in that picture you just tagged of me. Can you untag it or, like, take it down off the Infinite and Resoundingly Permanent Scrapbook that is The Internet?”
Them: “You’re being a dick.”
Me: “Yeah, fair enough. Just leave it.”
Sacrificing all personal ego and faith in one’s attractiveness, you leave it. Because you would rather come across as an Ewok in heels and a dress, than a conceited, vein, Facebook tyrant … right?
I say it’s time to return to the good old days. The time when only five people would laugh at that pimple on your face. Birthday dinners where the only people present are the people who are physically present (with presents, otherwise you just should just leave). Drunken nights, where you only have to explain why you were wearing underwear on your head and rapping A$AP Rocky into a bottle of red wine to those who were there.
Guys, let’s keep the private life private and leave the tagging to retail staff and those who work with cattle.