TROUBLESHOOTER / My friend posted my funny face photo on Instagram

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a female university student in my 20s seeking advice about a photo my friend posted on social media.

We took photos of ourselves when we went out, after which my friend posted them on Instagram. One of the photos was of me making a funny face. I didn’t know she posted it until another friend told me the photo was up on the website.

I sent my friend a message saying that I didn’t want the photo to stay up, but she replied, “No one is seeing it, haha. It’s all right.”

Even though I asked her again to delete the photo, she just replied, “Eh, what a pain in the butt, haha. Oh well.”

She’s a really close friend so I don’t want to say bad things about her. But she wrote “haha” in all of her replies and never apologized to me.

I implied in my message to her that I don’t want her to be known as the kind of person who posts photos of her friends’ funny faces on social media, but she hasn’t gotten the implication. Am I being small-minded?

I, Osaka Prefecture

Dear Ms. I:

Your friend’s being very insensitive. It’s very thoughtless of her to post pictures of you making funny faces on Instagram without your permission, and her replies are inconsiderate. If I had to describe this in a single word, you have differences in “sensitivity.”

You’re trying to treat her kindly, hoping she won’t become known as someone who posts photos of her friends’ funny faces.

However, differences in sensitivity make it difficult to maintain a friendship. Your friend may think this isn’t a big deal because only her friends will see her Instagram posts. You should keep a distance from those with sensitivities different from your own. Otherwise, you’ll exhaust yourself.

As there are only very basic rules for using Instagram, Twitter and other social media services, a lot depends on the etiquette of users. Sensitivity to such etiquette can help you understand if you share the same values with someone.

If you can respect your friend because you think you can learn from her, you may be able to overlook what she did this time. If you decide to stay friends, I suggest you avoid taking photos with her.


Akemi Masuda, sports commentator

(from Nov. 10, 2018, issue)Speech

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