Monday, November 14, 2011

A Very Serious PSA

Why hello there, blog world!

I've been spending a lot of time today trying to clean up the look of this space a bit and adding badges to the side so that it will be easier for you lovely people to stalk me.  You can now do that via Twitter, Facebook, or Google+, if you are so inclined.  If you want to click, I'll wait.  Go ahead.  It won't hurt or anything.

Great!  Thanks!  You guys are the best.  :)

Now that we've got that out of the way, I'd like to get serious for a moment.  With a platform such as this blog, I think it's important that I use my influence for the greater good, which is why I'm dedicating this post to spreading awareness about a growing epidemic spreading amongst our country's youth.  That epidemic, of course, is photo abuse.

Back when I was a young'un, we did not have fancy digital cameras.  We had film.  You had to put it in a camera, use it up (after only 24 shots, I might add), and then pay good money to have it developed.  Then, when you got the prints back, you had to throw half of them away because either someone's eyes were shut or there was a finger in the shot.

These days, kids have it easy.  They take a picture with their phone or digital camera and--presto!--there's the image, waiting for them to approve or delete, right on a tiny screen.  Of course, this is great for many reasons.  However, the affordability and accessibility of home photography has led to the widespread problem of photo abuse.

This is serious, folks.  The worst part?  This problem seems to be most prevalent in teenage girls.  Take, for instance, my younger sister.  I'll call her....Dani.  Dani currently has 725 photos in her Facebook albums, which isn't a problem per se, EXCEPT that--well, here is a sampling:

Notice something strange about these photos (other than the fact that her friend has a very friendly face)?  They are all the EXACT SAME PICTURE.  Same two friends, arm's length away.  And it's not like they just take one of these for every set--there are multiple photos of the same pose, same two friends, on the same day, in the same clothes, with the same hairstyles. Why???

Don't get me wrong--not all of Dani's photos are an arm's length away.  A good third of them are taken in bathroom mirrors:

Would it kill you to clean the toothpaste splatter off the mirror first, girls?

To be honest with you, Dani's case of photo abuse is at the mild end of the spectrum for girls in her age bracket.  I've seen much worse. 

At this point you may be asking yourself, "how can I get involved?".  The answer is simple:  speak up.  If you have a friend or loved one with a demonstrated case of this addiction, you owe it to them to start commenting.  Message your friends and tell them to comment too--ganging up on someone works really well in instances like this.  In this case, there is no better medicine than good old fashioned shame.

For example, say your friend posts this picture:

With this caption:

"Smiley and me at Taco Bell :)"

Clearly, the best thing to do in this situation is to ridicule.  Like this:

Do you see how we joined forces there?  That was a mini-intervention. 

Keep up this kind of teasing and before you know it your friend will be posting photos of events and things and people who aren't looking at the camera*!

Let's all work together to make photo abuse a thing of the past.  After all, the children are our future, and the teenagers are our even-nearer future.  Thank you, and goodnight.

*I mean, that's the theory, anyway.  I can't say it's worked for Dani yet, but I have hopes and dreams for her that extend beyond the bathroom.

ETA:  I would like to thank my sister for her cooperation.  She has demonstrated a great sense of humor by allowing me to post these photos.  I love you, Dani!  You are beautiful!
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