Facebook and my body image
As we all know, our body image is a subjective picture in the mind of our own physical appearance, derived from what we see and the reactions of others. Some people are proud of their body image but the majority seem to be dissatisfied. If people fixate unreasonably upon a feature of their body image with which they are dissatisfied, this is known as Body Dysmorphic Disorder and a typical example is the poor adolescents, stick thin, who think they are fat and develop anorexia.
I have a similar problem in reverse! My body image is tall and thin and, no matter how many mirrors and shop windows tell me otherwise, that image remains. However, mirrors and shop windows, although unsettling, can be ignored and the body image can remain untarnished.
A new phenomenon has arisen which is really putting my own body image in danger. In the old days, we took photographs and destroyed the unfavourable ones before sharing them with others. Along came Facebook! Nowadays, any event shared with our children and their familes results in pictures being posted on Facebook to be viewed by their thousands of friends and contacts. These pictures include unflattering photos of me, the sort I would have destroyed straight away, and, as the camera always makes me query my body image, everyone can view the photo as often as they like. Last Sunday, one son posted a photo of nine of the grandchildren on Facebook. An old friend of mine from years ago posted a “like” and wondered whether or not he had a picture of Management and me. Bang! Within seconds, he had sent her, and the rest of the world, an appalling photo of the two of us, looking less than sylph-like. Now, the photo is “out there” for ever more.
Do you use Directory Enquiries when you need a telephone number? If so, be very careful! In the old days, our only option was to dial 192 and British Telecom would give us the number for 40p (8/- in old money) which I always considered expensive. This service was abandoned in 2003 to open the market to competition and BT now recommends telephoning 118 118. This is a service owned by the American company Knowledge Generation Bureau and BT spends millions promoting the number. If you use this service, you will be charged £5.74 for the number (tough luck if they are ex-directory) and, if you are foolish to let them connect you, they will charge you an extra £2.99 per minute that you talk.
So, what should we do? If you have access to the internet and you are trying to find the number of a company or organisation, just Google the name and you should be presented with contact details. To find domestic numbers, read on. If you have access to the internet, go to site telecom-tariffs.co.uk then follow the link “View residential tariff costs” and then the link “Directory Enquiry Codes – 118” for access to a directory provided by Magenta Systems in Croydon, listing about four hundred 118 sites. This site tells you what each 118 company will charge for the your enquiry, as charged to your BT bill. Most sites charge between £2 and £3 but several cost less. For example, 118 801 charge 50p. I have tested their system and my call was answered immediately and I was given the number within seconds, with no attempt to make more money by offering to connect me. I did try another number (30p) but it went to answering machine.
Never accept a company’s offer to connect you, as the subsequent cost of the call will always be a great deal more than you are paying normally.
Michael’s wife, refusing to give in to the looks of growing old, goes out and buys a new line of expensive cosmetics guaranteed to make her look years younger. After a lengthy sitting before the mirror applying the “miracle” products, she asks her husband – “Darling, honestly, if you didn’t know me, what age would you say I am?” Looking over her carefully, Michael replied: Judging from your skin, twenty; your hair, eighteen and your figure, twenty five”. “Oh, you flatterer” she gushed. “Hang on a minute” he said “I haven’t added them up yet!”
A fifteen-year-old came home with a Porsche and his parents began to yell and scream, “Where did you get that car?” He calmly told them, “I bought it today.” “With what money!?” demanded his parents. “We know what a Porsche costs.” “Well,” said the boy, “this one cost me £15.” The parents began to yell even louder. “Who would sell a car like that for £15!?” they asked. “It was the lady up the street,” said the boy. “Don’t know her name — they just moved in. She saw me ride past on my bike and asked me if I wanted to buy a Porsche for fifteen pounds.””Oh my goodness!” moaned the mother, “she must be a child abuser. Who knows what she will do next? John, you go right up there and see what’s going on.”
So the boy’s father walked up the street to the house where the lady lived and found her out in the garden, calmly planting flowers. He introduced himself as the father of the boy to whom she had sold a Porsche for fifteen pounds and demanded to know why she did it. “Well,” she said, “this morning I got a phone call from my husband. I thought he was on a business trip, but I learned from a friend he has run off to Hawaii with his secretary. Then apparently she stole all his money and stranded him there! Well he called me, without any money to his name, and asked me to sell his new Porsche and send him the money. So that’s exactly what I did.”
Best wishes to you all Ian Nisbet