I guess by now we’ve all heard some analysis of the phenomenon that is Facebook. For me, as much as I despise it, I am completely addicted to it. I think part of it comes from my desperate desire to never miss out on anything. Hey, I didn’t earn the nickname “Inspectah” for nothing! But I won’t bore you with my own, psychobabble-filled opinion of the inner-workings of Facebook. Instead, I’d like to touch on just one aspect of it: the self-portrait.
Now, I know how stressful it can be to upload that profile picture. I mean, it’s essentially a reflection of one’s very self. In one picture, you must sell your image to the entire world – or at least 175 of your closest friends. That’s a lot of pressure! Personally, I chose to take my profile picture right after a visit to the hair salon. Good hair day = good picture, right? It took a few tries but finally I had a photo that I was relatively happy with. Upload!
So, as I am no stranger to vanity, I understand why a lot of profile photos (perhaps mine? egads!) might seem ridiculous. But, honestly, people, none are more so than the one where you can actually see the person holding the camera up (you know, the arm is at that weird angle) and they are standing in the bathroom making a pouty face. In many of the photos you can actually see towels hanging in the background. So, essentially, what this boils down to is this: you’re getting ready in the morning, and all of a sudden you realize you’re having a good day. You’re lookin’ kinda hot. Bang! Out comes the camera. Snap! In the past, you might spend your day hoping you bump into an ex-boyfriend so you can rub in his face how great you look. But no need for that now. Your “perfect” image has been immortalized!
My favourite addition to this photo, though, is the comment “Bad photo, but I was bored”. Riiiiiiight. You have taken the time to snap a picture of yourself and post it for the world to see because you thought you were looking bad. Of course. Unfortunately, this absurdity is often followed by comments from friends “You look so good!”. To which the photo-taker will reply “Omg, no I don’t. You do!” And so it goes. I know, I know, maybe I should stop judging my 12-year-old Facebook friends. The thing is, whereas in the past one’s stupid conversations would happen, pass and disappear into memory, now they are etched into Internet stone.
I was recently thinking about a Greek & Roman Mythology class I took in University. Yes, I was one of those. The professor would remind us that many of the myths represented how the Greeks and Romans felt about immortality. It was of utmost importance that one’s name would go down in history and you would not die as an unknown. A hero would often reveal his name to an enemy, risk his life, only so that he would be known! Life itself meant nothing compared to being remembered.
I guess some things never change.