Friday, August 22, 2014

The Wrong Time to be Batman

I know what you are thinking. How can there be a wrong time to be Batman? This is an analogy, so just go with it.

I've read a few articles this summer on modesty in churches, and I have come to an illustration that I hope will better explain it to both sides.
You get a birthday party invitation. It is dated October 30th, the day before Halloween. You've hung out with these friends before at other events, and you know that they go big for Halloween. They are a fun loving group, and so naturally you assume that a party on the 30th means it is a costume party. The perfect time to wear that awesome Batman costume you bought on clearance last year, and have been dying to show off. The day of the party comes, you go all out to look extra cool, you get to the party, and it is not a costume party. In fact, everyone is dressed in the exact opposite of costumes. You couldn't stand out more if you tried. It is too late to sneak out, you have been seen. You'll just have to own it.
Here is what I take from looking at it this way.

  • I would remember nothing from that night beyond it being the night I was Batman when I really shouldn't have been. Most of the people there would only remember that someone showed up dressed as Batman.
  • I would be really embarrassed knowing I was that sort of distraction from my friend's celebration.
  • I do not need someone coming up to me to tell me that this wasn't a costume party. I noticed. I'm ashamed without it being pointed to openly. 
  • I do need a few friendly faces who don't treat me like a total idiot, and talk to me in spite of how I look. 
  • I am not going to get mad at the people who look at me sideways. They are trying to figure out if I am mentally stable. After all, I am kind of a sight. Sure it makes me uncomfortable, and yes people should try not to wear their shock on their face, but being uncomfortable is not always a bad thing. It teaches us not to be Batman when it isn't appropriate. 
  • I will not let this happen again. I will make sure to ask and double check before I show up as Batman again. This one is key. If I continue to show up to events dressed as Batman, people are not going to take me seriously. Great Aunt Sophie dies, and I am Batman. A wedding comes along, and Batman. Job interview? Batman. No. 
Is it your friend's fault for the party not being a costume party? No. Should they have forced everyone to go home and change into a costume to make you feel better? No. Should your friend kick you out for wearing a costume? No.
There are two things I hope people take away from this. First, always check to see what is considered appropriate dress for things you don't regularly attend. Second, don't comment on what people are wearing unless it is to compliment them. It is rude. In fact, I'm pretty sure it is ruder than showing up to church dressed as Batman. Neither are socially acceptable. Really this advice applies outside of just church. It is a lesson for life. We need to stop focusing on if we look attractive, and focus more on if we look appropriate, because like it or not we live in a civilized society that has rules for such things. If that is too much for you, I can recommend a nice nudist camp nearby where no one is judged on their clothes. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Selfie Centered

This post is not directed at you. If it applies to you, that is not my fault.
There has been a lot of talk about kids these days and their selfies (pictures you take of yourself using your phone). Teenagers seem to spend a lot of time trying to take the perfect picture of themselves. Even obsessing over it at times. My adorable daughter fails at this miserably. I wish I could post proof, but I love her, and wouldn't do that. She has given up. Other people can take pictures of her, but she will not try to take a picture of herself. It comes out weird. Funny weird. JD went to make one not knowing the flash was on and the result was so funny that he made it his wallpaper. He probably wouldn't care if I showed you, but one day he might not be 10, and that should not come up on google when he is applying for jobs in the future. Any way, as usual, my kids are not the norm.
I was recently talking with some friends about this and one woman pointed out that it isn't just the teens. My generation has gotten a bit heavy handed with the selfies as well. She mentioned that one of her friends had recently posted one captioned with something indicating that she almost never posted pictures of herself, but this same person had multiple pictures already posted. It actually wasn't unusual at all for her. That is when the fear set in. What if we are selfie obsessed and don't know it! We instantly went to our own Facebook profiles and started counting. I was a little worried. My profile picture is a selfie, and I know I took one when I got my flu shot, maybe the last time I got my hair done. Counting ones others have made of me and I have posted, I'm averaging around 2 pictures that I am in per month. For comparison we looked up the profile of the woman who sparked the debate. She had 50... in a couple of months. I'm not sure what the cap would be for a healthy level of self pictures, but I'm pretty sure that almost 1 a day is not good.
I kind of like the idea of doing occasional self wellness checks on our profiles. Are we posting too many pictures of ourselves and pretending that we don't? Do we tend to share unverified links, the modern version of "forward to all"? Are you posting publicly thing that you don't want to come up under a google search of your name? That one goes double if you are a teacher. It may not be fair, but us nosy parents look. Are you abusing the ability to send game requests? Are you posting enough videos of cute animals? Okay, that last one is a trick. There are never enough cute animal videos. That is what makes the internet work.
Now that I've said that, I should probably go check myself.