A bad photo posted, an inappropriate message sent, a status containing enough spelling/grammar errors to bring my high school English teacher to tears; we’ve all been there during a big night out while in a state of total inebriation. Or should I say the morning after, when a simple scroll through the inbox reveals several messages containing slightly embarrassing content that probably seemed like a good idea at the time, but the individual has no recollection of in current times. Or the 15 Facebook notifications, waiting to be attended to. Fifteen Facebook notifications? Gee, I’m popular today. But wait, I haven’t even put anything on Facebook for the last week. Six misspelt statuses and four blurry, low quality, yet still extremely unflattering photos prove otherwise.
With social media at our fingertips 24/7, it is not surprising that this is occurring. I mean, we post photos of our meals daily when completely sober, add a bit of alcohol to the mix and who knows what trivial, pointless information seems appropriate for sharing. Or highly personal, private information for that matter. Sometimes this can be amusing. Highly hilarious even. Well, perhaps highly hilarious for everyone else. Personally, I don’t enjoy sharing my every decision and action with Facebook, awaiting judgment in the form of uncensored and often cruel comments, particularly if those decisions and actions have been influenced by alcohol (“OMG, surely you didn’t actually hook up with him!”).
Photos of people passed out on couches at nightclubs often pop up in my newsfeed, accompanied with comments such as “You are such a drunken disgrace in this photo! LOL.” (Inebriated to the point of being unable to walk. Is that really funny?) Or people lying sprawled out on the lawn at a house party, often minus pants (“HAHAHA!”) or with their skirts around their necks (“ROFL”).
Or people getting swags and, after a big night out drinking, setting them up in the CAR PARK of the local SHOPPING CENTRE despite one of them living just up the road simply for the fun of it (okay, so this only happened once, but yes, it did really happened). 68 likes and 11 comments later (“that’s sick!”, “Champions!” and “you guys are too funny”), I still can’t manage to see the funny side. Every single one of you lives close by; none of you are homeless, so stop making a mockery out of it!
And sure, there are some things that seem funny when under the influence of alcohol that wouldn’t have the same level of humour associated with them for people sober. Bare backsides on the counters of fast-food stores are not one of them! That’s just not funny. Ever. I didn’t laugh the first ten times I saw drunken people sit on the bench at McDonalds with their pants around their ankles (“There’s a crack on your counter”), and I didn’t laugh the first FIFTY times I saw photos of this ‘joke’ on Facebook! This behaviour is totally inappropriate and, quite frankly, illegal. But rant over. And I swear I have a point.
My question is when did it become appropriate to be sharing every single drunk antic on Facebook? Perhaps it’s just another symptom of the ‘over share’ era. We make a smoothie; we post a photo on Facebook. We go grocery shopping; we post it on Facebook. We get drunk and do silly things; and yes, we post it on Facebook. A lot of the time, drunken people act in ways they wouldn’t usually act. Sometimes it’s embarrassing, and harmlessly so. Other times, people do things they’d much rather forget. Either way, documenting it on Facebook means it will be there forever. Do we really want people to be able to see these things? To be able to bring them into the newsfeed with a single ‘like’, in say two years time? More to the point, do we want employers and future employers to be able to view this information? This behaviour is often inappropriate enough as it is without eternalizing it by positing it online for all to see.
Furthermore, how much are we actually enjoying ourselves if we are out clubbing, yet spend all night on Facebook? Personally, if I see multiple statuses and photos and comments, it leads me to question just how much fun the individual is having. And surely, there’s a line. A line that shouldn’t be crossed for fear of over sharing.
Here’s an example that supports my theory:
First post (7:48pm): A group of friends get ready to go out and post a photo of them all dressed up, “Getting ready to partaaay!!” 18 likes.
Second post (7:53pm): A photo of an excessive number of bottles of alcohol, mixers and shots, “Pre-drinks ;)”. 8 likes.
Third post: (8:16pm): Another photo, three heads squished together in the frame, “Car selfies ;)”. 6 likes.
Fourth post (8:24pm): “Girl’s night out, exactly what I need. Love them all” (multiple tags). 5 likes.
Fifth post (8:38pm): “Almost there. So keen!” (multiple tags) 3 likes.
Sixth post (8:57pm): A photo of the venue, “party, party, party!” 5 likes
Seventh post (9:11pm): A photo of a group of people at the venue, “Love all my peeps, good times.” 7 likes likes
Eight post (9:30pm): “Soooo drknjk. Lalololls.” 2 likes.
The overall decreasing number of ‘likes’ should act as evidence that there is no need to document every single part of your night. One or two posts, tops, is plenty. Sure, you’re dressed up and looking good. Share it. You’re out and having fun with your friends and have taken a photo, just to prove it. Share it. Then, leave it at that. We don’t care if you are in a taxi. We don’t care if you are on your third or fifth or seventh drink. We don’t care if you’re ridiculously drunk, have lost a shoe or just thrown up in the bathroom. Leave your posts for the next day. When you’re sober and actually competent in selecting what information you’d like to share, even if that happens to be a photo of your friend with her head inside the toilet bowl. Just make sure everyone has their pants on. For everyone’s sake.