Let’s get personal
When I was a teenager, I did many regrettable and embarrassing things.
But that’s a part of growing up. We’ve all said or done things that we shouldn’t have.
When I was fifteen, I crashed an upperclassmen Halloween party. I showed up wearing a dollar store Spiderman mask. Luckily, I didn’t get kicked out or beaten up. I actually made some friends. And like everyone else at the party, I went ham.
Some guys passed me bottle of something dark and smoky that burned my throat like battery acid. I remember jumping up on a table and kicking my legs in the air like a Russian dancer. I lost my mask in an arm-wrestling match. The rest is a blur, but all I know is that I partied like it was the last party that I’d ever attend.
It was, in fact, the last party that I attended for the rest of the year. Little did I know, someone had been taking pictures all night. The next day, they posted them on Facebook, to my chagrin.
I remember my mother bursting into my room and demanding me to log into Facebook. Needless to say, she saw it all. She recognized me instantly — my kicking, dancing legs on top of an antique table, a cigarette pinched between my lips and a huge smile on my beet red face. I don’t remember ever seeing the camera that night, but the camera certainly saw me.
Needless to say, I never heard the end of it. Earning back my mother’s trust after that incident was nearly impossible.
Ever since then, I’ve conditioned myself to be meticulous about my online presence. All because I got in trouble with my mother. Thinking on it now, it was no big deal. I was only a kid.
I learned about the perils of Facebook’s tagging feature the hard way.
I knew I shouldn’t have been at that party or around booze. But I didn’t think that night would follow me the next day.
I worked tirelessly to improve my public image with my parents after the Halloween party incident It was an uphill battle.
I felt powerless because I wasn’t able to control my image on the internet.