Somebody who has just found themselves in a somewhat embarrassing situation will often shout at onlookers: “Why don’t you take a picture, it lasts longer?”. Of course, given that it is now easier than ever to do exactly that, this sarcastic rejoinder is something of a risk at the best of times. It seems like the only way to avoid the preservation of embarrassing memories these days is to not do anything embarrassing.
Most of us have an embarrassing photograph or two out there, but we tend to be fortunate enough that our parents keep them in an album and only bring them out when a potential life-partner is already too deeply enmeshed in our lives to make a quick getaway. However, with the innovation of digital cameras and online photo posting, this has become something of a minefield.
There is not much you can do about embarrassing photographs making their way on to the Internet, short of confiscating all cameras whenever you are around people – and due to the decreasing size of the average cell phone this is pretty difficult to manage anyway. So all you can really do is accept that you are not the first person to have it happen to them and will certainly not be the last.
What you need to be careful of is the increasing number of sites that are devoted to placing embarrassing photographs where the whole world can see them. There are several sires now devoted to bringing embarrassing Facebook photographs to the wider world. You don’t want to be noticed by strangers and hear them giggling “There’s the guy whose pants came down on the Eiffel Tower”.