Mark Zuckerberg knows what's up. Along with everything else Facebook is good at — making sure you don't forget your dad's birthday; knowing exactly what shoes you bought on ASOS and trying to sell them to you again; the "unfollow" button that stops your ex from showing up in your feed — Facebook's eerily accurate facial-recognition technology will soon be able to recognize your drunk Facebook photos and ask you, politely, if you really want it on the Internet. It'll ask something along the lines of — and I quote — "Are you sure you want your boss and your mother to see this?"
The answer? No, of course I don't. My rational self does not, repeat does not, want that photo of my boyfriend carrying me from a bar on the World Wide Web for my kids to see when they scroll down Mom's Facebook timeline in 2032. But whatever demon possesses me to hit "Post" at 2:37 a.m. won't disappear into the shadows just because a new button pops up, asking me if I want my boss and my mom to see it. What shame is there in living life? the demon will ask. I am who I am! Also, the words are blurring together — what does this button even say? Blurf, just hit "Yes."
In an interview with Wired, Facebook techie Yann LeCun, who runs the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research lab, said he's considering a "digital assistant" that will, in the words of writer Cade Metz, "tap you on the shoulder and say: 'Uh, this is being posted publicly. Are you sure you want your boss and your mother to see this?'”
It's a good idea. It's difficult to forget, after all, that photo of your coworker passed out spooning her shoe on the sidewalk. And when you're waiting for your McDonald's order or your Dominoes delivery, asking anybody in sight if it's ready yet, it's very tempting to whip out your iPhone and capture the moment you realized how much you love, love, loved your friend who took you to McDonald's.
And the technology is already there. According to Wired, Facebook's facial recognition technology isn't far from being so advanced that it can tell when you're drunk or sober (probably by identifying whether you're in a dark space with wide eyes and drinks that glint in the camera flash). And let's not forget that Facebook knows where you are at all times, so if your phone has visited more than three bars, is in a Wendy's, or has spent an awfully long time on a sidewalk somewhere, there's a good bet the photos you post won't be of your best self.
That said, if you're on a mission to capture a moment of what you passionately believe if your best self — your most alive, vibrant self, which happens to be an incredible dancer at this exact point in time, which wants to share with everybody the friends you've never, ever loved more fiercely — a well-intentioned notification won't help. Please see below, i.e., the moment I wanted to tell the world that nobody had ever loved a drink like I loved this Lime-a-rita.
Thanks for trying, Facebook.
What would it take for *you* to unfollow someone on social media? We discuss unfollow horror stories & more on the latest episode of Bustle's The Chat Room. Listen here:
Images: Getty Images (3), Jenny Hollander (1)