Facebook.com can get you into trouble sometimes. And I'm not talking about potential employers scanning your profile for inappropriate wall posts about the time you got blackout drunk and peed on the side of a building in Faneuil Hall.
I'm not even referring to when you come home late at night from a party and think it's a great idea to poke girls you went to high school with or send one a message asking if she'd "like to go to dinner sometime?"
No, those make for awkward situations, but it's the kind of awkward you can ignore. You can delete a wall post; avoid eye contact when you see the girl. The public urination thing I'm not so sure about you might have to register as a sex offender.
But I digress. All of those things are reversible, but something I still can't wrap my head around is the concept of the Facebook photo album. Facebook decided in November of 2006 that it was a great idea to trust my idiot friends to post any picture they want of me and then put it up on my profile until I decide I should probably de-tag it.
Well, Facebook doesn't know my friends.
I used to let my friend Saadon buzz my head until one day I came home with a Mohawk and my mother screamed, "Do not let Saadon cut your hair ever again!" Because I am a mama's boy, I decided a month later (after my hair had grown back in) to get my haircut in Davis Square by a dynamic duo my friend Eni likes to refer to as "the Italian ladies."
I thought I'd be in and out in twenty minutes with minimal damage done. But for whatever reason, I walked out with a bowl cut. I don't mean a subtle, maybe-you-won't-notice bowl cut. We're talking about a full-fledged Beatles-meets-the-twins-from-Full-House bowl cut. It was atrocious.
Naturally, I sought help from my female friends in hopes that maybe they could "fix" the situation. After they took a picture what would later become "the" picture of me smiling with my new 'do, my friend Jessica snipped away and I once again looked like a child of my generation. I never thought about it again. Until they tagged that haunting image of me in an album. I promptly de-tagged it and tried to put it behind me.
Fast-forward 13 months. My friend Saadon is lying in bed rejecting the notion that the day should begin before 3 p.m. Justin comes over to our house and climbs into bed with him. I can't resist. It was a Kodak moment. So I grabbed my camera, snapped a shot that depicts the two as lovers and tagged each of them on Facebook.
Justin felt duped, but played it off like it was no big deal. I thought his revenge had come when he ditched me for lunch at Subway, but little did I know, that was only the beginning. Poking around on Facebook a few days later, I stumbled on Jessica's profile. The top wall post was from Justin: "I need that picture of 'you know who', the one with the bowl on his head; e-mail me it!!!" OK, I thought. What's the worst that could happen? He tags me again? No big deal.
The next morning when I logged onto Facebook I saw something extraordinarily disturbing. Jessica Mactas updated her profile. Katie Saville updated her profile. Ariel Hopkins updated her profile. Saadon Davis updated his profile. All of them with that infamous photo of my repulsive haircut as their profile picture.
I couldn't believe it, nor fathom how he must have organized it. Throughout the day more joined in. By midnight I counted 15 profiles with that photo as their main picture. A kid who doesn't even go here anymore changed his picture to me. The numbers grew, and I think may have approached 20. I wasn't counting anymore. I would see people all over campus for the next few days who would ask me, "What's going on? Why are you all over Facebook?"
I would just try to evade the subject. "So where are you going for spring break?" I would ask. But it was no use. Once my sisters saw what was going on I knew it was hopeless.
Sure enough, the next morning I got a phone call. It was my mother. "Neil!" she screamed. "Did you let Saadon cut your hair?!"