Male Call: Unselfie Yourselfie


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By James Roberts

We went to a Meetup pool party/BBQ the other day and only recognized two people from their profile pix, both of whom we happened to know pretty well. The other 10 were completely unrecognizable.

Now, as we understand it, the whole point of a social media site like Meetup is to get together with people who may be, if not strangers, at least people you don’t see every single day…i.e., your posse. Otherwise you’d just send an email to your friends and say, “C’mon over, bring a cheap wine and deviled eggs.”

However, some people treat a Meetup, or a Facebook page or a dating profile as though there were Russian spies trying to keep track of their daily whereabouts and the people they associate with.

Of course, this may be perfectly true but if the Russians or [insert political nemesis of your choice] are really trolling you, we’re guessing it’s not through your Meetup, Facebook or dating site profile. Trust us, the Russians are too busy messing with elections around the world to bother with your moviegoing habits.

We’ve covered a few of these before but apparently some of you need to be reminded:

  1. Avoid having other people in the picture, especially if it’s the first pic in a series;
  2. If your name is gender-neutral (Taylor, Sam, R.J., Jesse, Cody, etc.), that’s OK, but maybe you could help us recognize you with a non-sunflower pic;
  3. And by the way, there shall be no pictures of sunflowers, sunsets or sundials in place of a clear, hopefully non-selfie, head shot of yourself;
  4. No motivational posters with inspiring slogans and tapestry backgrounds, invariably snagged from “Brainy Quotes” (a terrible source) and invariably wrongly attributed to Einstein, Yogi Berra, Mark Twain, Churchill, Shakespeare or Gandhi;
  5. No grouchy selfies. Selfies alone are bad enough but if you can’t even manage to coax a smile out of yourself, it’s time to call in a friend. . . you do have one, don’t you? And if you can’t even tell if you look grouchy, well, that’s a larger issue.
  6. If your photo shows the cell phone data in black bars at the top and bottom — hour of day it was taken, battery status, type of phone, other irrelevant icons — but not even the date, how about taking two minutes to figure out how to crop it.
  7. Ladies: No “duck lips” poses (like the “kissy face,” but much more obnoxious)
  8. Ladies: No “beach feet” — it’s just a cliché that tells us nothing except you like the beach. (FYI, one survey says that the chance of a “like” for women decreases by 47 percent for beach photos in general and a whopping 80 percent for men.)
  9. Guys: No flashing a gang sign with your cap backwards and hip-hop underwear rising out of your saggy jeans, or any combination of the above. And unless you’ve got a shirt allergy…keep it on.
  10. Bathroom selfies? Fuggetabout it. The same survey says that taking a picture of yourself in a bathroom mirror will reduce your chances of a “like” by as much as 90 percent! Yikes.

See, the thing is, when you attend a Meetup or a prospective beau or beauzette for the first time, people would like to recognize you. That’s why it’s social media. And when they go home, they might like to connect your face with your name. If you want to be a secret agent, go turn on your cloaking device and set your smart phone for Incognito Mode. Or just go back to Myspace.

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