There are many photos on Facebook, Myspace and Tumblr which someone might look at and think, “Why would anyone ever put that on the Internet?” The photos can range anywhere from being extremely racy to just plain stupid. As I’m sure we’ve all seen at least one questionable photo at some point during our time on the Internet, I came up with a list (in no particular order) of the five absolute worst photos to put online.
Bad photo number one: someone holding and/or smoking their bong or crack pipe. Everything about this gives a bad impression. It not only says, “Hey, I do illegal drugs!” but also, “Hey, I do illegal drugs, and I bet that everyone, including any potential employers, wants to see!” I can see how some people would like to appear rebellious by posting such a photo, but if that’s what you’re going for, you should just take a snapshot of yourself whilst making a mean face with your arms crossed and standing on some grass next to a “Please keep off the grass” sign. That’s perfectly rebellious, and it doesn’t jeopardize your future. Also, it is not a photo that your mother wants to see. When she’s googling “how to make a glass crack pipe,” the last person she wants to see pop up is her own son or daughter.
The second photo on my list would show someone drunk/partying. I’m sure you think the photo of that random guy who you don’t remember licking peanut butter off of your chest is hilarious, but everyone else would probably be seriously concerned if you posted it on Facebook. You might also be entertained by an unflattering photo of you and your friends holding red cups and looking thoroughly inebriated, but many of your peers and especially your parents or teachers may find it trashy. Many of us know what parties are like, and we don’t need proof of your drunken escapades that were way funnier at the time.
Drunken escapades can also lead to unwanted or forgotten sexual encounters, which brings me to my third bad photo: excessive nudity or someone performing any sexual activity. Tumblr, a blogging website, has a tradition called “Topless Tuesday,” where ladies of the website post naked photos of their chests every week. Accumulating nude photos of yourself on the Internet is a horrible idea, and it might earn you a bad reputation. To be honest, I would refrain from posting any naked photos unless it’s your job. As for sexual activity, the normal “couples kissing” photos aren’t bad, but anything else should not be online unless it’s filed under pornography. It’s perfectly okay to have sex behind closed doors, but when the whole world can see what’s going on under your sheets, it gets a little creepy. Besides, I’m not sure why you would even think to take out a camera whilst hooking up with someone; “Hang on, babe, keep doing what you’re doing, let me grab my iPhone.”
The fourth bad photo is one that is posted by far too many girls: the duckface. For those of you who don’t know what the duckface is, it’s where you stick out your lips in a sort of warped kissy-face. The perceived goal of the duckface is to make yourself appear like you have pouty lips, a defined jawline and thin cheekbones. The resulting photo mostly just makes you look like a duck. Simply put, it looks stupid. Please just smile if you’re in a photo, unless you’re one of those guys who are too cool to smile. In that case, do the mugshot glare, but don’t do the duckface.
The fifth and final bad photo is the mirror pic. The mirror pic is a strange phenomenon that involves taking a photo of oneself in the mirror with a camera. I really don’t understand if people just think it looks good or they don’t know how to use the self-timer function. The shots are always awkward and rather annoying, especially when the flash is turned on, which creates a bright white, reflecting light. It’s always an added bonus when you can see the dirty streaks on the mirror, too. If you really need a photo of yourself that badly, have someone take it for you or learn how to use the self-timer.
In all seriousness, we should all watch what we post on Facebook or any other website where photo-sharing is available. Think carefully about the consequences of what you share and the different ways it could be interpreted. If you post something ridiculous, incriminating or risqué now, it might bite you in the butt later on when you’re applying for grad school or trying to get a job. If you have any photos up now of your crack pipe, last hook-up or even duckface, I advise you to take them down … especially the duckface.