You went to a party last night. No one posted pictures online. Did it count?
Gone are the days of enjoying your company in real life. Now, it’s all about online documentation. What’s a party without Foursquare check-ins, Twitter hashtags, vintage Instagram photos, and, most importantly, a new Facebook album?
This isn’t anything new; Tom Wolfe referenced the social network narcissist years ago in the film Bill Cunningham New York. He mentions an old magazine article titled “You went out last night. Nobody wrote about it. Do you exist?” In the interview, Wolfe talks about the importance of newspaper columns to New York socialites and mentions that a lot of people were caught up in this frame of mind.
It’s still true. We’re so worried about updating every online outlet possible to convince the world we’re having fun that we don’t actually let ourselves have fun.
Let’s talk about fashion and parties. At first you may think it’s okay to wear the same outfit to two different parties, two weekends in a row. None of your mutual friends will be there so no one will know, right? WRONG. Some aspiring photographer will use her new Canon EOS Rebel T3i to take pictures of you sitting on a couch at the first party. Your other friend will probably whip out his disposable camera at the second one. You’ve made a huge mistake: Facebook friends flipping through your tagged photos will assume you only own one outfit.
The people who know this make sure to wear their weekend best at each and every party. Girls layer dripping necklaces over their short dresses, while guys add a hat here, change a sweatshirt there. This creates some kind of Facebook image of each person, hundreds of tagged photos that weave together in a digital scrapbook.
Parties aren’t just parties anymore; they’re photo ops. Your outfits don’t just create your style; they create a character by which people judge you online.
This creates the question: are we dressing for some kind of social media paparazzi when we go out? You have two options here. You can either dress for Facebook in outfits your friends will think are stylish or you can wear what like, when you like.
Follow Tamara at @tamfeingold