The young man lounged on the psychologist’s chair, looked up at the ceiling, and exhaled.
“I just couldn’t believe my parents would have put pictures of me on Facebook.”
“And does it bother you that they did that?” the psychologist asked.
“Of course it bothers me,” the young man said. “I mean, imagine you are going through life, thinking about what you are going to have for dinner, or whether it’s time to throw out the ice cream because it has that ice beard growing all over it, and one of your parents’ friends posts a picture of you on Facebook from when you were an infant and in a diaper, with the caption, ‘Remember those days!’ And when you investigate a little to find out how this friend of your parents obtained this picture and proceeded to post it without your written consent, you are told that the picture was already posted by your mother 25 years ago! And then upon even further investigation, discover that this was not the only picture she posted, nor the most revealing.”
“And you think it was inappropriate for your mother to do that?” the psychologist asked.
“How could it be appropriate? How would you like if someone was posting pictures of you without your consent?”
“So people do not post pictures of you now without your consent?”
“Oh, of course they do. Like, when we’re all out at a party or a bar or something. People take pictures of the evening and then post the pictures on Facebook so that the world knows we have a life. If I happen to be in the picture, then I get on Facebook. But that’s totally different. I knows what’s going on. I have some control over what I’m wearing.”
“So is it the not having control over your wardrobe what bothers you about your mother posting pictures of you as an infant?”
“That’s only part of it. Because it wasn’t just the pictures. As I started to speak, there would be these little snippets of dialogue that my mother would share with the world.”
“What were these snippets like?”
“Oh, you know. These little witty things, like ‘Mommy, how come the moon doesn’t fall down?’ or ‘Mommy, why does garbage stink?’ I mean, really, why did the world have to know that?”
“And you don’t think that the ‘world’ as you put it would think it nothing more than the ordinary things that a toddler would say?”
“But that’s just the point! There’s a permanent public record of me saying ordinary things to an ordinary mother who took the ordinary step of bragging to the world about the ordinary things her toddler says and does. If she had stayed silent, the world might have thought me extraordinary!”
“I see. So you believe that by posting your childhood pictures and verbiage on Facebook, your mother removed all the mystery that would have otherwise surrounded you.”
The psychologist nodded and jotted a few final notes. Then he looked at the wall clock.
“It looks like that’s all the time we have for today,” he said. “I’m a little jammed up next week so my assistant will call you to schedule your next visit.”
After the young man left, the psychologist went on his computer, logged in to his Facebook account, and started typing a post.
Just when you think you’ve heard it all, a patient comes in with a truly extraordinary complaint….