Today on Facebook I thought it would be fun to scan and post a few old school pictures and post them on my Facebook page. I thought they were funny and captured the essence of my high school years. There were goofy pictures, prom pictures, and school trip pictures just to name a few. Along with Facebook, you can upload pictures on Instagram account. It will memorize the older day and views can be increased from the instagram views provider.
Nothing I thought anyone would be embarrassed by. Or so I thought. It has never been my intent to intentionally embarrass anyone on the world wide web. Well nobody, but myself, of course.
Seeing as it is a lazy summer day, I thought after I had posted them I’d sit for a while to see what the general response would be. After all, I could always take them off my wall if they weren’t appreciated. Right? After a couple hours, what do my wandering eyes see? A status from a person that I tagged saying, “So and So knows that old high school photos belong in shoe boxes and albums. LOL!” I have to say that comment got my blood boiling. Despite the “LOL” at the end it felt to me like a snide remark stating that this person was embarrassed to be in the same photo as me. Now the world wide web can be a great and ingenious invention, but it can also be the bane of your existence if you are reading too much into someone’s status. Like my husband says, “Read it five different ways and pick one. Chances are likely they didn’t intend for it to be in that tone.” Wise words.
I then asked myself a few questions while my blood was boiling like:
Was it wrong of me to post photos of what I thought were “good times” on the internet?
Are some people really that embarrassed about their pasts that they don’t want others to see them in another light?
How could I have handled this situation better?
After asking myself these questions I came to one conclusion: I shouldn’t have to ask people their permission to post pictures that include them, but I should allow them to tag themselves if they so chose instead of me assuming it is alright to do so myself. Sometimes this is not as well received by the recipient as we think it will be.
This leads me to the thought that here should be some common sense rules applied to picture posting on the web and especially social networking sights.
Never tag someone without their consent unless you are extremely good friends with the person. We all are aware that even though we have 200 friends on Facebook, only a handful can really be considered true friends that wouldn’t mind if you did this.
Always remain open to change. If the person you posted pictures of objects to your photo being on their wall or yours, respect this. Never assume the pictures you upload will be well received by everyone. Depending on how close you are with this person, you might need to remove the object of conflict.
Use the email option on your chosen social networking sight. It is there for a reason. If the person in your picture doesn’t like what you posted then send them a quick email with a short apology and remove the picture.
Before you react to a status, take 10. Some people like to air their dirty laundry in public places. If they don’t like the picture you posted it is possible that they might state how they feel on their status. Before you overreact take a moment or two to breath. Chances are you might have misunderstood them. There is nothing in the social networking handbooks that says you have to respond to a snide status update.
Lesson learned. Never tag a friend in a photo. Let them tag themselves and always be receptive enough to delete the photo if they find it to be too embarrassing. Some people don’t like reliving the past that came from those stinky old shoe boxes.