Fooling Ourselfies

Photos all via Flickr, (cc) some rights reserved, by (clockwise from top left): Rantz, ladybugbkt, FonnaTasha and Adam Lehman. I wonder how many realize they've granted permission to use their photos via Creative Commons.

Photos all via Flickr, (cc) some rights reserved, by (clockwise from top left): Rantz, ladybugbkt, FonnaTasha and Adam Lehman. I wonder how many realize they've granted permission to use their photos via Creative Commons.

I try to be careful what I post here on Mental Shavings, as well as on Twitter, Facebook and other social media. 

But still, like so many other bloggers, I'll occasionally publish something awkward, humiliating or worse. (And that's even with a reminder on my computer than says, "you are what you post.") 

I'm not the only one with self-discipline issues. My feed—an ironic term, since we all seem to be choking on too much information—is full of wince-worthy photos and comments every day. As Ian Leslie writes for Aeon this week:

"Big Brother isn’t watching us; he’s taking selfies and posting them on Instagram like everyone else. And he probably hasn’t given a second thought to what might happen to that picture of him posing with a joint."

Among the reasons why: We're not wholly mindful of the potential consequences of what we post online (or via apps like Snapchat) and often fall prey to simplistic cues—like the appeal of an attractive interface design, the implied intimacy of "sharing with friends," or simply the desire to be more like them. 

In other words, we all talk a good game when it comes to our need for online privacy—but we're really just fooling ourselfies. 

(ADDED ON 8/22): My picture was stolen and turned into an anti-feminist meme.  "There is no telling where they stole it from, it could have been Facebook or it could have been OkCupid."