Have you ever heard this adage?
“Always wear clean underwear in case you get in an accident”
It’s good advice, really. The goal is to have a little foresight, and plan in advance such that you can retain your dignity in the case of an unforeseen event. It used to be that the worst indignity that your Mom could imagine was having the doctors and nurses see you in dirty holey underwear, but what is the bare minimum in dignity preservation today?
I realized what the modern equivalent was while watching the news. Somebody had been killed in my hometown, and the news program gravely displayed a picture of a smiling, happy face captioned with the following words: “Image courtesy Facebook”.
In the case where your ‘accident’ is notorious enough to be newsworthy, but not so notorious that the Facebook admins immediately take down your account, your easily searchable social media photostream is likely to supply the images that everyone will associate with whatever it is that you’ve done (or ceased to do) forever more. As such, I think that it is time for Moms everywhere to update their adage:
“Always keep one clean photo on Facebook in case you get in an accident”
After all, do you really want the last image of you to be shown or surfed on this planet to be that one time when you were really drunk and your buddy took pictures of you with beer coming out of your nose as you tried to drink from that stupid beer bong? Or worse, your photo album was empty, but somebody else took a group photo and tagged all the names (including you), and it turned out you were “scratching” your nose just when the picture was taken? Imagine that group photo on the news, with everyone else greyed out, and your nose-pick in bas-relief.
Of course, you could also say that the original advice is more true than ever; perhaps the two could be combined to say that you should always wear clean underwear in case you get a picture put onto facebook that gets shown if you have an accident. Laugh if you want, but take a look at your photo album and ask yourself which facebook photo of yours would you want shown in the case of your untimely demise? If there isn’t one, perhaps you need to show a little foresight, just like your Mama would want.