Yes you: Friend who cannot help posting pictures and videos of me.
You who always gets so excited whenever I say ‘NO’ or ‘STOP’.
You who constantly dismisses my self-consciousness and my desire for privacy as attempts at being coy.
Don’t you know that ‘No’ doesn’t mean ‘Yes’?
Every time we meet, it’s like you’re encountering an exotic animal in the wild.
When I say “No,” you take it as an invitation to keep trying.
When you try your best but don’t succeed, just give up. Why is that so hard to understand?
When I say, “Stop it,” I’m not playing games. I am not telling you to find some way to sneak up on me so you can take my picture without me noticing.
Neither am I indirectly telling you, “Wait for me to let my guard down so you can get some candid shot to pair with your witty caption about your camera-shy friend.”
I am not some social media prop who exists for the amusement of your followers. Seriously, do not point your iPhone camera in my face.
When I shield my face from being photographed, it’s a defence mechanism. Not a mating dance.
It is also a warning and a threat.
One day, I just might rip your phone from your hands and fling it into a wall. Because my patience will run out.
Remember that one time when I got home after one of our regular dinners to find my face on your Instagram feed? That marked the beginning of the end of our friendship.
I get it though. Words and actions can be confusing sometimes, and maybe there are moments when a ‘No’ can seem like a ‘Yes’.
So, if ever you should find yourself confused by my intentions, feel free to take a hint from my face.
If I’m frowning, you’re being annoying. So stop pointing your camera at me.
If I’m smiling awkwardly, you’re still being annoying. I’m just trying very hard not to make you feel bad. Again, stop pointing your camera at me.
And just in case I’m still not being clear enough, let me put it in plain English: I DO NOT WANT MY FACE CIRCULATING ON A PUBLIC PLATFORM.
I do not want to be filmed. I do not want to be on your IG stories. I do not want to say hi. I don’t know who your followers are, nor do I care about them.
I don’t even want mine to know where I’m at, who I’m with, what time I get off work, or what my neighbour’s mother eats for lunch.
But by all means, go ahead and tell your followers what you’re up to, show them just how exciting and fun your life is.
Just leave me the hell out of it.
Yours in frustration,
Every friend who doesn’t enjoy being photographed without their permission or made to participate in Instagram Stories when all they want is to eat their chicken rice and drink their beer in peace.