Friday, August 29, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Prominant Christian Blogger/Teacher Publicly Shamed By Compromising Photos Appearing Online

BLOGOSPHERE, Internet — A noted evangelical blogger closed down his blog and resigned from his teaching positiong at his church, less than a week after photos published on an internet social networking site My FaceSpaceBook, appearing to show him wearing a dress with matching bonnet and wielding several different kinds of deadly weapons. Sources close to the popular blogger have confirmed that the images are not photoshopped but authentic.

Does that story look real to you? If you said no, then good for you becuase it's not. It most certainly could be though, as more and more people seem to have less and less discretion over what they a.) do in their private lives b.) be photographed doing and c.) have that pic posted online somewhere. Sometimes folks even post the pics themselves, which really makes you wonder if their brains didn't fall out along with all manner of common sense.

From cops to politicians, actors to musicians, teachers to pilots, students to housewives and yes even Christian folks, there have been more and more (and more!) news items in the last couple of years that focus on this very thing. Someone did something (and it could have even been all in good, innocent fun, but it's usually not), someone (or they did it themselves) took a picture of it and then posted it online. Brilliant idea. Truly brilliant, ranking right up there with performing your own brain transplant surgery. Bravo!

For those that post these pictures of themselves...

I guess I just don't understand the brazen, shamelessness that is part & parcel of society these days. I don't "resonate" with it, I'm not down wid dat, nor does it click with me. However you want to say it, whatever cool or uncool lingo you use, it's still foreign to my way of thinking. I realize that there are quite likely tons of people that really do want to see you in your jammie pants drinking a keg of beer through a big water bottle straw, but one should use one's reasoning skills and think "hmm, could this hurt me in some way, down the road?" It appears it most certainly can, as those who have lost their jobs, families and trustworthiness as a result of pulling such a bonehead stunt, would certainly tell you if they could.

For those that post pics of other people...

The basic golden rule of posting pics of OTHER people online should be (if it's not, I've never checked) is ASK them first. If they say no, don't post it. I'll be blunt here and say if you don't ask first, you're a bonehead for not asking, and if you do ask and they say no and you post it anyway, you're a triple-bonehead and monumental shame on you for being a rotten friend. It's called COMMON COURTESY and if you don't know what that is, you need help. It's really that simple. Now I'm referring to friends who have pics of friends sort of deal, not someone who's going to post a media pic of someone in the news.

I realize that most of us probably have LOTS of pictures of either ourselves or friends doing all kinds of silly things. For example, I have a picture in my possession of a well known person doing something very funny but that picture is between friends and would never in a million years see the light of My FaceSpace Book, or any other online site - or offline publication either. (and no, I wont tell anyone who it is or what they're doing, so dont ask, lol) I have pictures of myself also, posing in some of the most ridiculous poses (usually taken when I wasn't looking but just being a doofus, but some were intentional because I am a doofus) that I would also never post online. There is just no reason to post those online. Those who know me, know what I look like and act like in person and those pics wouldn't phase them in the least. They'd all say "yeah, that's Carla, so what?" or something. But those that don't know me might not find them nearly as innocent looking. They could, given the right set of circumstances, come back to haunt me later in life, or even damage my testimony for Christ in the eyes of someone. So... there's just no reason to share those silly things online.

I actually did have a series of pics posted once (now removed), when a friend (who I first met online) came to visit several years ago and we did a mock scary movie scene. Since we all know everyone on the internet (including me) is an axe murderer, we did a series of shots chasing each other with an axe. We were both laughing so hard it was nearly impossible to do the scene. Sadly, on more than one occaision there have been a couple of people that wanted to use those pictures for no good, so I removed them.

I thought about all this after a few things happened over the last couple of days. One friend had some pics posted without his permission. A news bit I saw on tv showed a girl at a party (innocent enough, right?) when she should have been somewhere else. The photographic evidence actually got her into some serious legal trouble. Then just today I read about college president photographed in a rather scandelous shot on a boat, complete with beer and bikini clad young women.

For whatever reason going, there's this thing going on in our culture that says "plaster yourself online for all to see!" Young teenage (and younger) girls all strike the same phoney pose that says "I'm pouty, yet mysterious and adventuresome, you really want to get to know me" and many young men flash that "oh I'm so angry at life I can't stand myself" expression. It's all so fake, and yet you know exactly what I mean because you've seen those profile pics - they're EVERYWHERE. What's more, is folks aren't stopping with the fake profile pics. Doing all sorts of things they shouldn't be doing in the first place, from underage drinking to drugs and more, they digitally preserve the moment and show it off to the world.

Back in the day (whenever that was) most people didn't have such easy access to cameras. Today, they're so cheap I wouldn't be surprised if they were toys in cereal boxes or cracker jack prizes. Just about everyone has one, and the thing to do seems to be to take pics of yourself in every pose under the sun for all to see. Its all so sickeningly narcissistic, but it's one of the most common trends online. I suppose its just another symptom in the downward spiral of this culture's obsession with self. Gack.

Rant over. I feel so much better now.

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