Monday, May 11, 2009

I Am Not... My Facebook Album

The other day, an embarrassing picture of me showed up on Facebook. I’m not so vain to believe every picture of me on Facebook has to be completely flawless, but in this case the photo had a shot of my crotch and I’m very particular about my goodies (not my goodies!).

So I had to tell this friend to take the picture down. And part of me felt shitty for being bossy about what photos I wanted up of me, but on the other hand, it was my crotch. Shouldn't we all be a bit choosier about the pics we share online?

One one hand, I'm all about freedom of speech. You want to dedicate a photo album to portraits of you hugging a toilet bowl, knock your socks off. But on the other, we all know a picture speaks a thousand words, and in this infinite and immortal internet universe, what you post on your Facebook can easily be taken out of context for an eternity.

Like the time I was engaged. My fiancé was gay, and we made sure that the picture for our engagement announcement was one in which he was sitting in my lap. Clearly this was a joke. Anyone who knew us, and our humor, got that. But then my parents starting fielding phone calls congratulating them on my engagement. When they asked me to take it down, I realized how much is lost in translation online when you’re “friends” with virtual strangers.

Then one day, in a moment of Facebook conviction/annoyance/paranoia, I started going through my 300 plus pictures and 8 albums. My drunken birthday party revelries and affinity for giving people the finger were starting to cast a one-dimensional image of a drunken bad mouthed party girl. In my pursuit of “being fun”, I kinda was looking a little drunk and reckless too.

So after much deliberation, I took them down. Without pomp or circumstance half of my internet life was deleted. At first I felt some type of way. I mean, without all my pictures, how would people know what kind of person I am? And what would they think of me? Not enough photos on Facebook felt a lot like being the only kid without LA Gears.

But then I remember – oh yea. You can always meet me. Have an actual human to human interaction, then judge for yourself. I am not my Facebook photo album. I am a real person.

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