The dreaded Facebook tag. It's unavoidable in this hellscape of obsessive life chronicling and dinner documentation, where your every move is just one badly angled iPhone snap away from showing up on your ex-boyfriend's timeline. We've all removed an unflattering photo from our social media feeds (right?) but is what's reflected back at us from the glow of our laptops actually affecting the way we perceive ourselves IRL?
Today the Daily News tackles the so-called "Facebook Diet,", where users (mostly women, shocker!) are horrified enough by second party photos posted to social media that instead of simply removing the offending shot, they're actively making changes that would, ultimately, make for sexier selfies in the future. "Screw untagging, I ran straight for the treadmill!" exclaimed Jodi Shaw, one embarrassed victim of the FB tag. "I saw that picture and said, "Maybe I shouldn't have had that bottle of wine.'"
There's something about photographs—the old adage about cameras adding 10 pounds, perhaps—that accentuates all the things we don't like about ourselves. I'll admit to untagging most photos of myself from Facebook, purely out of vanity. But it's true that after months of clicking "Hide From Timeline" I realized that maybe it wasn't the camera's fault that I wasn't feeling confident enough to share my silly karaoke candids with my "Friends" on Facebook.
So should we be thanking social media for making us more self-aware? Deciding to develop an active lifestyle or other change to improve your physical health should be applauded, but obsessing over looking fly on Facebook shouldn't be the bottom line for making the move. Keep in mind: for all the time you've spent poring over your perceived double chin, everyone else in the photo has been doing the same for themselves. In the end, maybe we'd all benefit from less cultivation of our online images and more cultivation of, you know, actual personal interactions.