On Facebook, I like pictures not people.

At least once, we have all looked at a picture and thought about how we would die if it ever got out there. Though hyperbole for some, it has been reality for others. I keep hearing stories of people who have killed themselves in response to the substitution of a whole versus a part. So, as Helen Grosz would like us to ask, how can we distinguish our image from our essence? Can we start thinking of function over form?
Or, better yet…should it be distinguished at all?
This post is not an analysis; it is a narrative on why I chose to refuse the sameness of image and essence.

Being Honest

These ALA throwbacks have actually taught me a lot. The most important lesson is that not everybody looks at these pictures the same way. I mean how can we? While some people laughed their heads off at those pictures, others felt a little uneasy at the regurgitation of their past. For some it was about the instant reaction from the quick images and for others, it was an insightful reflection into the past periods they had been through. For the quick ones, the comments were hilarious but for those deep in retrospect they must have had a painful feel to it because it reminded us-easily-of feelings that people had towards our being when the only access they had to us was what they saw. Like a Facebook picture, some people could only remember us by recalling how they laughed at us from a distance or watching us strike that poseā€¦

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One thought on “On Facebook, I like pictures not people.

  1. I thought your picture was fun because of how back in the 80s/90s, people (in Uganda at least) used to pose for pictures around shrubs. It was interesting to see how what was used as a prop resurfaced in the digital world as a frame in later decades, and now is considered uncool on both forums.

    And now, I am wiping tears of hilarity because I clicked on that screenshot and saw a “HeyAdam” hashtag that just killed me.

    More than that though, I find the most interesting part of this is the fact that they are self-generated. So even if it is saying that “in 2008 (or whenever else), this was “uncool””, there is the element of “I think that this was uncool”. Because I imagine if you told a random selection of people to pick out, from your collection of profile pictures, what they would use for this movement, there is a chance that there will be different picks. So that it is not just a change in trend through time but also a change in that mirror moment [I have just been seeing Lacan allover this] where the signals are altered over time. And it is all connected but the thing that is scary about this is thinking about how much personal agency one can effect in a specific time period. Even when the movement #IAmNotMyProfilePicture is happening, it is also saying something about how we regard our current profile pictures. And how independent is that position from the other things going on in the rest of the world?

    I know it is supposed to make one feel less anxious, but somehow it just made me feel the exact opposite.

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