arts, movies, music, pop culture

how facebook (and myspace before this) gets us in trouble

I call it the Yearbook Phenomenon. You know, the last few days of school, every one trucks out their yearbooks. You ask everyone to sign it. Some people ask to sign yours even though you know they won’t even know your name and won’t remember that you sat behind them in physics all year. “Of course you can sign my yearbook,” you say, and you exchanged books because that’s just socially acceptable.

But except now, you don’t get to take the yearbook back. It’s like the perpetual yearbook and people get to keep writing in it and your good (read: real and actual) friends get to flip through and laugh at your yearbook friends (read: fake and exhibitionist) and you get to grimace with social anxiety.

Ahhh life. How beautiful.

My junior year of high school, I switched schools from a very small private Christian school with about 10 people in my class to a medium sized public heathen school (just kidding) with about 350 or so. I didn’t know anyone really well just those from my neighborhood and from grade school because I had gone to public school with the heathens (still kidding) from 1st through halfway through 3rd. I was really good at switching schools in the middle of the year. This would become a trend throughout my life. Switching schools, jobs, residences, boyfriends, hair colors, etc.

I feel like I spent a lot of my junior year just trying to find my classes and my locker. Stressful. I also had major problems getting dressed in the morning, having come from a uniform. In retrospect, I probably could have just worn my uniform and might have been more popular. I think about how I had no idea what was in style and quickly became aware of the fact I cared about the same amount as I cared about thermodynamics. I just know when I’m cold.

You just don’t really know what people think of you most of the time. Since high school days, I have gotten to know classmates who I never said two words together to back in the day. Then again, I did get a yearbook message which stunned me a bit. Someone wrote “I love you” and it wasn’t someone I’d ever guess would have written such a thing. Still makes me smile and then really really sad because I never asked him about it. Then again, he never said anything to me either so I thought maybe he signed the wrong yearbook.

So fast forward to facebook and you read the random comment from someone who you’re not really sure you even know, and you follow rabbit hole trails of people who know other people and you realize you are no longer surprised by anything. Of COURSE you know that person. Everyone I know knows someone I know.

And then you realize… everyone I know knows someone I know. And that’s where the trouble begins… the series of unfortunate events… and let me stop posting random pictures because people start asking too many questions.

No your husband/boyfriend/son/brother-in-law wasn’t there. He was in the picture? Oh no no I have no idea who that is. … delete.

I don’t want to get anyone in trouble. Let’s not analyze anything too deeply or take this stuff too seriously. People are all afraid of “privacy issues” and “permissions” and craziness like that. Back in my day, permission was handing the yearbook to someone. If you sign up for Facebook, it’s like leaving your yearbook lying around in the gym. You get what you deserve.

But stop tagging me in photos that make me look anything less than a Victoria’s Secret model. I’m always slightly more clothed. Even in my underwear.

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