I recently saw this photo on someone else's profile on Facebook, and I couldn't help but laugh...and click "Like"...and share. I'm still trying ot figure out if she merely backed into the pole and didn't realize that her cheeks had enveloped it. Still, it really looks like she's clenching, doesn't it? I suppose it's one alternative way of holding on. Hey, I get it! I've been on the DC Metro and theNew York City Subway system. Those things jerk around and you have to hold onto anything you can with whatever you can.
In any case, it's funny! Right? The next morning I had a gazillion Likes and comments on it. While most people thought it was hilareous, two said something to the effect of "What is the point of posting this?". I replied, "Well..it's funny! Not to everyone I guess." To which an offended person replied "Sorry, I don't see how making fun of someone regardless of how foolish they appear is funny. Now if we teach our children to make fun of this person that is alright, correct? Or do we teach our children to not make fun of this personality. Not trying to be ornery, I simply don't get why making fun of someone like this is a mature thing to do." I simply replied that I was sorry it offended her.
When I posted it I wasn't really thinking that I was making fun of someone. My train of thought was simply "funny picture...must share". I am typically against making fun of anyone. Oops! Well, my aim here wasn't maturity. But it has me thinking, has Facebook turned me into a mean girl? I always strive to share only positive things on my blogs and status, but in trying to be funny, I ended up being negative I suppose.
I know, I know, I'm reading waaaaayyyyy too much into this. I'm a female, I have to analyze the crap out of it. But there is a lot too it. Online images are becomming very important as social networking is growing more each day. I represent The Blog Entourage and my brand as a writer after all. Part of me thinks it is no big deal and it was simply funny. However, if I want to present my brand as positive, I suppose I shouldn't post pics that make fun of people.
I do have a problem with people who are reputation police and think you should never post anything controversial if you want to be successful. That simply isn't true, because people like Chelsea Handler and Conan thrive off innappropriate humor.
I think the most important thing is determining what your brand is and taking into account if you are trying to get a job as, say...a teacher. You may be the most wholesome, kind person out there, but if you share one little nasty remark or picture, your online image can suffer.
On the other hand, a lot of these things are subjective. What is offensive to one person is simply silly to another. If you have a professional reputation to uphold, it's always better to be safe than sorry. But how about those People of Wal-Mart pics? Those are too fucking funny, huh? Dammit! I crossed the line again...