There are some very bad pictures of me on Facebook. This one is awful. This one's downright horrendous. This one, I don't know, am I sweating? Yet I never, ever, ever untag. Why? Because life is far more fun this way.
Most people untag. I don't. It began as an accident—Ah, whatever, this picture is disgusting, but whatever—but it's grown into a hardline stance. Yeah, maybe absolutism is a weird way to use social media. But it's somewhat of an f-you to my own vanity. And come on, vanity is the only reason people untag photos in the first place.
Who the hell cares if you occasionally look hammered or fat or ugly? With smartphones and whatnot, you're going to be caught at a the wrong angle constantly—forever. That's the world we live in now. Well, also, I sometimes get drunk and do dumb things. So do you, probably, or if you don't, you find other ways to be dumb. Those dumb things are often documented on the internet. The photos are rarely worthy of placement on the cover of a magazine, but it's almost better that way. And even models on the cover of a magazine probably get drunk and take bad photos sometimes.
Also: Bad photos are hilarious! I love bad pics of myself. The moments where you look tired and stupid and something slightly adjacent to "human being" are the ones worth keeping. They, perversely, make you happy in retrospect. You should embrace the awful snapshots of yourself with the same enthusiasm. It shows you've got a sense of humor. And if you don't, fake it, because no one should be all serious all the time.
Plus, if someone is your friend—your friend friend who's seen how you rage on a slice at 4am with grease all over your fingers and face like you haven't eaten in three weeks—they know what you look like. And if they don't—if you haven't seen them for a few years, or even communicated beyond the annual "HBD BB" Facebook comment—why do you care? On the off chance that some former acquaintance, now basically a stranger, will see it, contact you, and sleep with you? (Well, actually...) No. Of all the lame ways to use social media, that's one of the goofiest.
Most of my actual friends probably enjoy the bad photos of me just as much as I do, if not more. Plus your favorite memories don't live inside of perfectly posed snapshots. Candids, bad ones, most likely capture the best times you've had. Your polished profile picture isn't fooling anyone. Besides, the way Facebook works these days, if you're really worried about impressing someone, you can just hide the photos that are tagged of you on your profile.
Now, there are those of us who have puritanical employers who will literally fire you for so much as hinting that you maybe sometimes think about drinking on Facebook. You, I'm sorry for. But everyone else should just go for it. Look bad as hell. Have a chubby face. Cross your eyes. Be wasted. Screw it all to hell. A little self-love goes a long way. And life is so much better like this.