Get ready for a community lip lock, kids. May 5 is “National Make-Out Day,” so we’ll be swapping spit across the land, no doubt adding a new dimension to Cinco de Mayo celebrations.
Haven’t heard about National Make-Out Day? Then you need to associate with a better class of “friends” on Facebook. Two of my FB pals joined the group a few weeks back, and I expected more to follow after this post. But alas, someone wised up and took this fun little group offline. The killjoys! (“Make Out Day” lives. See “update at the end of this post.)
No, my friends who joined the group aren’t the pair disguised in this “official event photo” from the site. I suspect these two were operating on a dare from six horny college boys after a Beer Pong marathon. What were they thinking when they struck this pose? That’s a question I ask nearly every time I open Facebook.
I’ve written critically about FB twice before (here and here). And in the classroom, I’ve cautioned students about the long-term consequences such “exposure” might have. This picture ain’t goin’ away, even though the “group” has disappeared. I suspect these two already regret their indiscretion — even if they don’t remember it. (And before you call me a homophobe, please note those meaty male paws directing this little fantasy.)
Facebook is a fun site for the college set. But you don’t have to post your fun before 20 million voyeurs — of which I guess I’m one in this case. Freewheeling Facebook images are time bombs that can threaten your reputation and your career. Yeah, I know it sucks, but you know I’m right.
Since Facebook added tighter privacy settings, dirty old men can browse only the pages of friends — unless, of course, you leave the gate open. And many of you do. But privacy settings or not, many outside your network can still read “wall postings” and tagged photos put up by friends of friends. And let’s face it, if I can see this stuff, so can future employers and others who might be running impromptu character checks on you. They do that.
If you’re a student with a Facebook page, think about cleaning up your online act today. If you’re an old fart like me, but you know someone with a Facebook page, give ’em the old hippy chant from ’68: The whole world’s watching! The whole world’s watching!
It’s still OK to get silly drunk and do crazy and embarrassing things. That’s part of being in college, or at least it was when I was there. Just keep it off the Internet.
And finally, here’s hoping we all get lucky on National Make-Out Day, even if it’s not on Facebook anymore. Woohoo!
Update! National Make Out Day is alive and well, not as a “group,” but an “event.” It’s up to nearly 175,000 attendees and has nearly 10,000 wall posts. “Make Out” no longer turns up on FB searches, shielded from “public” view by administrators — or so it seems. But I’m in, thanks to an invitation from a Facebook friend.
Like to join the big smooch on May 5? Send me an email and I’ll send you an invitation to this glorious event, which includes access to a very festive page.
Oh, yeah. You old farts will need a Facebook account.