November 28th, 2007

hand

When people just don't understand

Well it's happened. Now any sober person, who is a friend of a freind of a friend of whomever posted it, sitting in their room, with a laptop, can see me dirty dancing.

You know what I don't understand? Why people don't get why this pisses me off. Facebook has always pissed me off- there used to be a time when you couldn't publish a picture in a newspaper without the permission of every person in that picture. How is it that posting a picture on a website isn't the same thing? How is it that posting a VIDEO isn't the same thing?

These are not new feelings. Anyone who knows me cannot have escaped having this sort of conversation with me- but now that it's personal, it's even more infuriating, because it brings home the core of the issue: privacy.

We have never been able to control our image; I'm not so naive as to believe we have. But it never used to be so easy to publicly embarrass and humiliate. We didn't use to live in a digital age. And now that we do, and the rules haven't caught up with us yet, and everyone is racing after any little bit of attention they can get, we have let human decency fall by the wayside. What we are playing at now is just gossip on steroids. Now, instead of telling everybody how drunk so-and-so got last night, we can post visuals! And not only did you record it on your video cellphone without their permission, you posted it on your website without their permission. And here is the saddest part: no one seems to have a problem with it.

So what's the solution? Censor our behaviour? Never swear, or have a drink, or pick your nose? Never take off your clothes, or have sex, or eat food off the floor? Never squeeze a pimple or cheat on your boyfriend? Well in my case, it's never dirty dance again. Because I'm going to be a lawyer, and law firms are now scouring the internet looking for anything about future employees that might be embarrassing. My entire future rests on trusting that the world is going to be responsible with my image. And since I've learned only recently that I can't even trust people I counted on as friends to do that- I'm hard pressed to believe it of strangers.

This will be my last post.

I am done with the lack of respect. I am done with shallowness of friendship. I am done with this whole world of uploading and downloading and file sharing. From now on if you want to know what my life is like, you'll have to pick up a phone. I didn't want to become a twenty-first century luddite, but this is the position I have found myself in.

So goodbye- not that there is anyone left on livejournal to read it. You're all too busy on facebook- soberly watching me dance.
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