Social media paparazzi gone mad

November 20, 2014

164758186_9c773de957George Clooney and Ben Affleck think they’ve got paparazzi problems? Today, anyone can see their most unguarded moments publicized on social media, thanks to amateur photogs armed with a cell phone camera and no respect for personal boundaries.

Yes, there’s a new category–social media paparazzi–who snap and post, whether you want them to or not, showing poor social media manners.

Ugly photos that show every snaggle tooth and extra pound.

Inappropriate photos of people doing things they may not want their family–or potential employers–to see.

 Intrusive photos of people at their most vulnerable, that say more about the photographer than the subject.

Yes, today, everyone’s a potential paparrazo and everyone’s subject to intrusion of their personal boundaries.

You can do your best to set limits. I do.  I moderate Facebook tags to be sure they don’t surprise me by appearing on my timeline without my ok. In fact, you can control who posts to your timeline, too.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the shot won’t appear on the poster’s own timeline.

And I set my boundaries clearly: my friends know that I don’t like to be papped.  I was at lunch with a girlfriend the other day who took a photo of our wine glasses and said “I know you don’t like to be papped.”  Or something like that.  The point is, I’ve made my boundaries clear.

Not too long ago I saw a photo on social media of someone in the hospital. That person looked like shi t and probably felt like it too. And yet, in one of the most stunning displays of social media inappropriateness, there was a photo of that person in all their feel-like-shi t glory for everyone to see.

Now, I have some photos of a friend in the hospital looking like crap. Also laughing her head off in a really ugly but funny way. None of those have appeared on social media and they never will. Instead, I sent them to her for a laugh, and laugh we did.  PRIVATELY.

Good taste and good manners never go out of style. They’re the same as they’ve always been.  If you wouldn’t invade someone’s privacy in other ways, why would it be ok to do it on social media?

Maybe because you have no respect? No manners?  No class?

Probably.  Just saying.



30 comments on “Social media paparazzi gone mad
  1. Such good points Carol. I have one daughter that doesn’t even like me to post cute photos of her kids or her pets. We kind of laugh at her but we respect her wishes.

  2. Not wanting to be “papered.” Ha! Agree. No one wants a horrific photo to be part of their digital footprint. I think of the unsuspecting shoppers who later are used as a means of humiliation (people who shop at Walmart pops to mind). Just awful.

    • Oh yes, those shoppers! I have to admit I was trying to get a shot of Patty Hearst at an event last year and my husband kept purposely blocking me. But I still wanted the shot. So I can be guilty, too.

  3. Friends don’t have friends who post shitty pictures!!!!…or they’re not your friends!

  4. I once posted a photo of a friend with a lovely message and the kindest words accompanying it. She private messaged me to remove it cause she hated the photo. I did. We all have to be careful who we post and tag.

    • Yes, I try not to post stuff on other people’s pages for that reason. We never know. I have a cute photo of sister in love that just cries out to be posted, but I wouldn’t without asking her. Good manners never go out of style.

  5. guilty! I always ask before I post though… (can I post to Facebook?) if not I don’t. glad to know now that you don’t like to be Papped because you know I do call myself a photographer… lol. love you!

  6. Ruth Curran says:

    I am the puzzle paparazzi….I do let people know that just being around me with my camera in my hand (pretty much always) is like signing a photo rights waiver. Seriously, I am very respectful and never use people’s faces without at least having a conversation with about using moments (and photos of them) as puzzles.

  7. Nice to hear you get it 100% Carol! Good taste and good manners never go out of style. So simple yet so many missed this memo.

  8. Carol Graham says:

    No respect – No manners – No class. Mostly no class. I like the way your termed it paparazzi – that’s exactly the ‘class’ to put it in. You can take it a step further and mention people that talk about their husbands and/or kids in derogatory manners.

  9. Civility is long gone. It should be illegal to post someone’s picture without their permission!

  10. nora says:

    Doesn’t it make you wonder what bass happened to common courtesy? We’re angry with our government with its privacy invasions–what about these invasions?

  11. Jackie says:

    Oh, I’m so with you, here! Technology really has stretched the boundaries of public v. private to its breaking point. But, really, it is just common sense and manners that should dictate what we publish and where. Unfortunately, people lack both in this day and age.

    Have you seen the “funeral” shots? People lying in their caskets? Folks put them up to “memorialize” their loved one, but I just think it’s downright creepy.

  12. Mary says:

    Carol, I totally agree with you! I hate when friends think it’s ok to put my picture on their FB page, I like you untag on my end, but it’s still out there. Just because there are some people who can’t get enough of looking at themselves doesn’t mean we all feel like that!

  13. Sheryl says:

    And then, there are people who love to post photos of themselves ad nauseum…that’s just as bad, I suppose.

  14. Such a great reminder about respecting others. I don’t, nor ever will, understand why some people find it fun and amusing to post pics of others in compromising situations or material on another’s page that might be offensive (though the post-er finds hysterical.)The digital album is indelible and so many don’t think before they post.

  15. Karen says:

    It comes down to good manners, and respecting others’ boundaries.

    We’re really careful to ensure that when we put up a photo, we have the subjects’ consent–and in the case of Wendy’s grandson, since he’s unable to say yea or nay, we just don’t post pictures of him.

  16. I make my family nuts with my click, click, click. I do, though, ask before posting. Most of the time they appreciate me sharing their awesome faces (and if they don’t, I respect that).

    Great points!

  17. I agree! I almost never even post a pic of myself!

  18. Joy says:

    I’m glad you wrote about this, Carol. Like you, I have set in place the FB settings needed so that I have as much control as possible about things posted on my timeline. But you’re right that it still doesn’t guarantee everything. I will be sharing your post and I hope your last paragraph/ last few lines will really make other people think. Thanks!!

  19. Lisa Froman says:

    Love it! Think before you click! I totally agree. I am very picky about photos… Most pics taken of me are with closed eyes….
    And yes, boundaries, please!

  20. The other day I was stopped at a red light and caught myself scratching my nose. Then the frightening thought occurred to me “what if I look like I’m picking my nose? What if the person in the next car took a photo and posted it on Instagram? And what if it goes viral and Jimmy Kimmel makes fun of me on late night TV and I become known all over the U.S. as “nose-picking soccer mom?”

    It was just a passing fear. But that kind of thing happens to people every day. And it’s terrible. I completely agree with you, Carol. Social media photo etiquette has gone out the window.

  21. I saw a hospital photo of someone today post surgery. That’s the last place I’d want a photo taken and posted of me, unless I had a baby in my arms and okay’d it first. I agree, some, if not many, things need to remain private.

  22. Lana says:

    Now if we could just convince the younger generations to “think before you click”!

  23. Carolann says:

    Totally agree with you on this one Carol. I can’t stand people taking pics and posting them without your permission. I always ask folks if I can take thier pic and post before I do. It truly is like the wild west out there!

  24. WendysHat says:

    I totally agree and set my privacy on Facebook but that doesn’t stop others from posting on their sites either. I once was in Costco shopping and got a text message from a friend because another so called friend saw me and took a picture and posted and tagged my name! Eek! I’ve been a victim of the paparazzi! That being said, don’t these guys know the Vegas campaign from last year titled “Don’t Break The Code”?!?! It basically means don’t post it!

  25. Mary Buchan says:

    Thank you for addressing this important issue.

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