There’s a connection between tattoos, Facebook and shyness that has to do with concealment.
I’ll start with tattoos (granted I do not have one, but I do have a belly-button ring, indicating that I am a slight but inactive rebel).
Tattoos used to be associated with bikers, head bangers and tough guys, but in the last few years, they’ve become as common as wearing earrings.
They make a statement, be it personal, political or religious. They leave a mark. And they tell a story.
The storytelling is similar to what happens with Facebook. Put in your profile, tell a little bit about your likes and dislikes and post photos of whatever describes you, your interests and what you’re doing.
It’s a big Here I Am world kind of deal.
Tattoos cover up the real person underneath, as does having a Facebook page to socialize, Facebook sets up a scant biography to replace the personal stories that arise out of face-to-face dialogue.
It’s not a matter of three-dimension life but of a face looking at a monitor, click, clicking toward connectivity.
I admit I get suckered into social networking as I check out wall postings on a daily basis. I want to find out the gossip. I want to communicate with my friends who live elsewhere. And I want attention from Likes, posts and pokes.
But, to me, it doesn’t feel real.
As do tattoos – they don’t mark a rebel anymore, just a trend.
As I heard one person call them, tattoos are mainstream.
So, here’s where the shyness factor comes in. It’s easier to hide out behind a book, a Facebook page or even a tattoo than to step out into real life and take chances. You have to be in your real skin with your real self out there, instead of in the ether world.
With shyness, you can carry around the label, as if tattooed on your heart, not realizing that to connect you have to remove the ink and take chances, lots of them.
Even if they scare you. Or break you. At least until you see that it’s better to risk than to lose.
With Facebook, the only rejection is a de-friend.
In real life, it’s more complicated and painful.