As I was looking at my latest FB profile pic (self smiling away happily, and cuddling up to a wax model of Brad Pitt at Madame Tussaud’s) on my phone, I clicked the back arrow unthinkingly. Well. Most activities on FB are unthinking, but that’s another story. For some reason, I arrived at my first ever FB pic from 2009. A simple, un-self conscious picture of me wearing a white t-shirt and a flowery vest that must have been at least 15 years old even back then (and which I will not be photographed dead in now). I have not seen this picture in a few years, which made the contrast all the more striking. I repeatedly clicked back and forth and looked at the two pictures (yes, had little block of time with absolutely nothing else to do).
In five years, I look skinnier, hair looks straighter and shinier (but, alas, I know better), and the smile seems more radiant (even if I say so myself). How is this possible?! I know that it is not just me. With the passage of time, several of my relatives and friends on FB (you know who you are) are progressively looking younger. Or, at a minimum, big time well put together like never before. I do not recall my mom or my aunts preening in front of the mirror when they were (ahem!) 35+. They were steady sources of delicious food, wisdom, comfort, and yelling (in no particular order). Wonder how they would have been if FB had happened 25 years back (actually, happy not to find out).
Anyway. Seems to me like FB keeps narcissism well and truly alive, no? I realized this one summer evening in 2011 when we were standing at a beach in Southern California. The first thought that popped into my head was that the glowing sunset sky, the splashing waters and the sands made for an awesome sight. Unfortunately, the immediate next thought was about the awesome FB profile picture that I could get of myself with the awesome sight. Caught myself on that thought, did not pose for a single picture that evening, and merely stayed in the moment and enjoyed the sights. So, wisdom prevailed that day but, unfortunately, it doesn’t prevail all that often.
So. What do you think? If you are on FB, go look at your first ever profile picture and compare it to your latest (and, undoubtedly, greatest). Have you too reverse aged? 🙂