The experiment I chose to conduct involved finding embarrassing pictures of friends on my Facebook account from preferably middle school or high school and like the picture. By doing this, the picture would show up on our friends’ timelines and would be seen, again, two years later. I chose people close to me for this experiment, people I knew I could “pick on” and it was way too much fun. Here’s how I got away with my results:
A majority of my friends were surprised by my “Facebook Stalking” skills. By looking at pictures that my friends were tagged in, and not uploaded by the friend, I can find some golden nuggets of embarrassment hidden in the dark parts of their Facebooks. Many of my friends continued to like them with me, joining in on the fun, and commenting the names of others so they could see the pictures, too. It was so fun.
My experiment was conducted in steps:
- Find 10 friends on Facebook to embarass
- Look at their older pictures to find something that may give entertainment to my circle of friends and their families
- Like two-three older pictures to get the pictures on the timelines
- Record their reaction – whether it be a comment, personal message, etc.
Because I targeted a particular kind of person, I had no adverse reactions. Many, if not all, were embarrassed but it was a fun sort of embarrassment that one can embrace. This is a fun game that people play in this day and age, and it was a little enlightening.
Rather than the embarrassment that usually stems from these sorts of actions, many owned up to their past. I was humbled and grateful to see my friends be proud of their dance pictures from middle school, or their senior pictures, or their 13th birthday party. It inadvertently served as a gentle reminder of a past memory that made them smile. Because this was an online interaction, and not done in person, it is definitely interesting to see how reactions are captured. Being behind the screen definitely serves as a shield against the world, but it also acts like a sword. Words can be sharper, blunter, and nastier. Emotions can be hidden behind words and phrases.
What did I, and my ten friends, take away from this?
The Internet allows you to be who you want to be – just don’t forget who you used to be.