by Devina Gunawan
I am a firm believer that with today’s access to everyone’s private lives, displayed and showed off on social media, I need to supervise what I post or let people tag me in on my profile.
My Facebook is clean, or so I believe, from anything inappropriate, except for the accidental profile photo that was “unacceptable” to some people. Well, I didn’t mean to declare my support towards marriage equality that loudly; however, that was already done.
To my conservative friends and relatives, I am sorry if it offends you. Your messages and comments are well received. We all have the rights to our own opinions.
But apart from that profile photo, everything is clean. I post movie reviews that I’ve written every now and then, or something Daniella writes.
Sometimes I post my drawings up. And those who know me know that the most I post is once a week.
So knowing that a few days back an acquaintance added me on Facebook just to see what kind of person I was didn’t bother me at all. I wasn’t worried. I didn’t even suspect anything.
However, when hateful messages arrived in my inbox, I grew confused.
What is on my profile that makes me seem so horrible?
That was when I wondered, what do people really think of me when they see my profile?
I am a private person, and if you tag me in a photo, chances are the photo won’t make it to my profile.
I do not like people knowing my location, what I am doing, or the details of my moodswings.
So how can judgment that harsh fall upon me when there’s barely anything to judge me with?
Have you a friend who poses with low cut tops and mini skirts, very seductively in all her profile photos? I do, and I wonder what others think of her when they go through her profile.
I have a friend who posts articles on political affairs every ten minutes. Another friend who posts too many memes to count in a day. A friend who posts selfies five times a day. And many more.
What do people think of them, based on their profiles?
Are they judged harshly? Or do they get exactly what they had asked for with their display?
I have heard the worst scenario of people not getting jobs or losing their jobs due to some things they posted on Facebook. I remember the first time I truly paid attention to my profile was when I was working on my college application.
I was so worried that I would not get accepted because of anything posted on social media. There really was nothing, but I had to make sure I left no room for rejection over something so minor.
So I was smiling from ear to ear when during my interview with Princeton, the interviewer pointed out that some people didn’t get in due to inappropriate posts on social media. I got into my dream school instead (Texas A&M, whoop!), but ever since then, I had been watching everything posted on my profile.
So what’s the deal? What do people think of profiles on Facebook? Do they stereotype?
Do you ever wonder what people think of you?
Because to be honest, on social media, we can manipulate. We can create an image of ourselves that isn’t even true. We can alter photos, post things that make us look like environmentalists, we can pretend to be people we aren’t.
Social media is an expose and a cover. It can work against or for you.
You can be completely naked on social media, or you can layer up and hide. You can build an alter ego, you can make yourself look better or worse, and you can do many things with your profile.
And the reason why is because we know people judge. We know people pay attention. We know that with the access given to society to check out everyone’s profile, we are doomed to having others see what is displayed and posted on our wall. We, fortunately, may supervise our privacy. We can delete or add posts, we can filter tags, and many more.
Because we care. We know that some things are better to be shown and some things are better hidden out of sight.
So we can choose what we want people to see and not see. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t wonder what is thought of when someone goes to our profile and scrolls down.
I obviously wonder. Even though I have monitored everything on my profile.
So, do you?