Photo by Muffy Aldrich
The Modern Guide to The Thing Before Preppy

Friday, June 28, 2024

A reader question: How do we gracefully avoid being in friends’ social media posts?

 A reader question:

A prickly question for the community regarding privacy. 

How do we gracefully avoid being in friends’ social media posts?  Some of the community may recognize the scenario. We’re at dinner with friends, or at a charity event, and someone in the group asks the hostess to take a photo of the table. Within minutes, we’re tagged in a post, and our photo, location, and companion choices are revealed to the world. Am I alone in feeling uncomfortable with this? Any suggestions about how to politely avoid these situations would be appreciated. 

Kind regards,

20 comments:

  1. Thank you for posing this question. I am of the same thought of not wanting to be included in any social media posts. And in particular have an upcoming visit from a couple who revel in all things social media. Not only do I not want any pictures of their visit posted on SM, I do not even want my name mentioned on any of their accounts. It is purely a privacy matter and how I navigate this new world of hanging everything out on the clothesline of life for all to see. Hard pass.

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  2. Yes, thank you for posting the question. I find that most people understand if I simply ask them not to tag or name me, or simply to leave me out of a picture. We all have reasons to control our social media presence such as not letting strangers know that our house is empty because we are on vacation, or perhaps we are dating someone new and don't want the world to know about it yet. Anyone who is not a complete boor understands the power of social media and will respect a polite request.

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  3. Have you set your social media settings to require you to approve tagging? You'll still be in the photos, but you won't be tagged unless you want to be.

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  4. It's acceptable to politely ask a person whom you know is active on social media, or a photographer at a public event, to not tag you in photos or disclose your name. If you don't want to be included in photos that get posted to social media, you should say so.

    Professionals are generally sensitive to this, as using another's name, image or likeness without their permission may violate their right of publicity, right of privacy, or other intellectual property rights under some state laws, as well as federal copyright law.

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  5. I tell them I've got outstanding warrants and if they take my photo, post my name or anything I'll be coming after them with a blowtorch to burn them in thier beds. Politeness be damned.

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  6. If you ask us servers what we think about taking your group photos we'll lie to your face while smiling about it. We hate it. You're there to enjoy the food, not 'ooh and ahh' about your precious selves, while staring at your phones , posting for all to see what wonderful lives you lead. Then the food goes cold. I've had people demand to have their food warmed up or taken back altogether because they don't start in when it's served. It's the height of self-centered arrogance and doesn't go unnoticed. We need the tables to turn over in a reasonable amount of time. Anything less and you're eating into our nightly tips.

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    1. This makes me sad. Some of my most cherished photos are of family & friends gathered at a restaurant to celebrate. In the future, should I ask our server if the 90 seconds it takes to act as a photographer (which will not go unnoticed at tip time) is eating into their nightly tips?

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    2. One quick picture isn't the problem for most service people. But now when we go out, we inevitably see people who want to take pictures of their food - once or twice when it first arrives, and once or twice of everyone else's food, and then the food "artfully arranged", or halfway eaten (with a criticism of it, naturally). Then they want to take pictures of everyone else eating and what they are eating (with more criticisms). Then, they are annoyed or downright angry if the food isn't hot enough or cold enough or is "lacking" is some way. It makes going out and listening to these people quite unpleasant these days. Can't imagine what it must be like trying to serve and please them.

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    3. If you ask us to take your photo of course we'll do it... we don't want to annoy you by refusing. No one ever knows before the bill is paid how much if any you'll tip (which can be highly dependent on other things than our level of service). I've had parties walk out on their checks for no reason anyone on staff can determine. The entire staff, in case you're wondering, is watching EVERYTHING that goes on in the restaurant. Insisting that servers be your personal photographer interrupts the service we need to provide others no matter how short the time it takes. If you must, take the photos yourselves. Multiple ones if you need to. But don't slow us servers down with silly requests.

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  7. Step 1: get rid of social media.
    Step 2: get rid of friends.
    Step 3: ???
    Step 4: profit?

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  8. Contact the Klingons for good deals on older model cloaking devices.

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  9. Be assertive. Remember: being assertive means saying how you feel and what you want. Assertiveness is the healthy behavioral midway between aggression and passivity. I hate being subjected to unwanted photographs of myself and/or social media. Also, I am vain; I'll admit it. And unless I feel as though I am at my best, I will not subject myself to scrutiny and appearance analysis. Just speak up ...

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    1. Well said. I detest having 100 random pictures taken of me and everyone else around me at social gatherings. Everyone with a phone is constantly snapping pictures and posting them on social media. Do these constant photo snappers not care or realize that some folks do not want their picture taken and then posted?

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    2. Whenever, I see the word "assertive" my mind turns back to the American Humorist Erma Bombeck who wrote a successful book entitled : "Aunt Erma's Cope Book: How to Get from Monday to Friday ..."

      Her original title was: "I'm going to be more assertive - if it's all right with you." Luckily, her editor convinced her to change it to the above.

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  10. I just tell them that my picture is already hanging in the post office, so why would you want to take it again.

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  11. I have always chosen my friends very carefully! This eleminates problems like this rearing their ugly head!

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    1. Isn’t that the truth. I haven’t made a new friend since 1973. My many friends are old, but not dull. Social media has no place in our lives. Alas, I wish I could say the same thing for our children (not all of them, thank you), our nieces and nephews. The jury is still out on our grandchildren.

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  12. As long as there are people seeking relevance to their lives, the wannabe "notice me" will exist. Tactful, truthful commentary is always useful.

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  13. One positive emerging norm seems to be that you never, ever post pictures of kids without explicit permission.

    Hopefully it will filter up to the adult world, too.

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  14. I usually excuse myself saying I'm in witness protection. Gets a lot of attention and quizzical looks. I'm not by the way but it works.

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