Etiquette Questions, Answered: Tricky Conversations
Real Simple's Modern Manners columnist helps you navigate uncomfortable conversations.
Q. I have chosen not to have a Facebook account. But that hasn’t stopped my relatives and friends from posting group photos in which I appear on social-media networks. I don’t appreciate having my image made public without my consent. How can I protect my privacy online without alienating my loved ones?
A. Your concern about the Internet is reasonable: Once images are uploaded, you really don’t know where they will end up. Could a colleague possibly spot a photo of you, say, inhaling nachos at a Super Bowl party? Well, yes. And since that bothers you, take action. If you notice photos being snapped at a gathering, try stepping out of the frame. Or say to the person wielding the smartphone or camera, “I hate to inconvenience you, but I’m very private. Could you agree not to post any photos of me online?” (Personally, I would keep the mood light by following up with a joke: “Sorry, I’m like one of those people who believe that pictures can steal your soul.”)
Some people may be surprised, even annoyed, by your request. But my guess is that your nearest and dearest will care less about posting your pic than granting you peace of mind.
- When Should I Post Pictures Online?
- Is It Unkind to Ignore a Facebook Friend Request?
- How Do I Tell My Aunt to Stop Sending Me Chain E-mails?
Want to Ask Your Own Etiquette Question?
Submit your social conundrums to Catherine at realsimple.com/modernmanners. Selected letters will be featured on the website each month.