Emilia Pardo Bazán wrote, whose death was 100 years old a few months ago, that naivety often resembles cheek. That phrase came to my head when I had to go urgently to a hairdresser who was not my usual. A neighborhood hairdresser run by a boy my age who told me at the end of the cut (more informing me than asking my permission) that he was going to take a photo of me to upload to his business’s Instagram account.
I seemed naive use images of their clients to promote their bareback barber shop (pun intended) in times of the LOPD, the RGPD and other acronyms that guard our privacy a bit. But it definitely seemed like a nerve that it be taken as one more procedure, as something inherent to the degraded, without giving me the possibility of refusing. I told him not to mention, that no photos, I paid the ten euros and left thinking “… and precisely to Instagram.”
From the data boxes to your face on your Instagram
That was the first of several. The topic came up talking about paella one Sunday and a relative told me that the same thing happened to her in a beauty center: she went to get a facial treatment and the person who treated her took a photo of her asking for permission (at least she had that deference) to post it on the company’s Instagram.
At the intersection of companies with the digital environment, the acceptance of practices that are only for their benefit, not that of their customers, has been standardized.
The last time something like this happened to me was in a dance academy, where I was treated wonderfully and in the last class, with the camera of a mobile pointing at me, I heard “you don’t mind if I record you, right?”. I replied that “no, as long as you don’t post it anywhere or show it to anyone.” “Then what do I want it for?” She replied, disappointed. “And why do I want you to publish me?”
As happened with the horrible normalization of signing personal data authorization boxes, as one more automatism, as if they were necessary to give us a service that in its essence does not require it; that businesses use us, their customers, as a free advertising claim, has become a habit. What a bad time.
Those businesses give us a service, a haircut, a tattoo, a facial or dance classes. In return, we pay what they ask of us. With the rise of social networks, it seems that that is not enough and we have to let them exhibit us for free in them, as if they were mounting the Necronomicon of Podiatry Samuel, as if that brings a benefit to us. He just brings it to the business.
I can come to understand who at least has the deference to ask in a humble way, without assuming anything, and accepts a refusal without bad faces or reproaches. But twisting our noses or changing the way we treat ourselves – or let’s not talk about acting bravely without consulting him – for not wanting to be part of the social act is, as they say now, a red flag In all rules.
We can understand humble proposals that understand our negatives, but it is not what we always find
One, by age or whatever, already gets an idea of the implications of letting anyone know what we do and where, and has no problem saying “no, I don’t want to” as many times as necessary, even if it is at the cost of putting on the same face as Nadia Calviño when Yolanda Díaz announced in Congress her intention to repeal Rajoy’s labor reform. Other people, for being too young, or too old, or too shy, or for having caught the rise of Instagram at the wrong time and not fully understanding what the whole thing is about, they may not have the ability to refuse.
Now we long for the times when the only signs of the Apocalypse that the Internet would also bring us – not everything is going to be the good things – were the websites made with Frontpage and dozens of GIFs with glitter effect. At that time, the Internet was something that was beginning to escape the understanding of those in their thirties and forties, and the youngest of us assumed with generational naturalness. Perhaps the same ones who now feel that this is beginning to escape our understanding. Gentleman, I just wanted a low-key gradient, not to have my poker face photographed for open release.