Why We Post




Poverty and mockery

By making things more visual and more public, social media has added considerably to the prior concern amongst Brazilians to make oneself look good before going out in public. This is especially the case in a place of poverty where visual appearance is all about aspiration and any mistake, such as a misspelled word, can lead to embarrassment. 13-year-old Lais lives with her parents and three sisters, aged 11 to 17. Lais is an outgoing, adventurous teen who loves going out with friends and dreams of becoming a professional dancer for Pagodão bands and other local music groups. 

On one occasion, Lais took a photo of her older sister Sara asleep while watching television and posted this on Facebook. The photo was as uncool as a teenager in their village could possibly imagine: hair, makeup, type of clothing, and the proper way of posing - everything was missing. Sara woke up later to find her Facebook profile filled with messages from friends, relatives and even people that she didn't previously know, making fun of her. 

A few days later, Sara saw a chance to get her revenge and took a similar photo of Lais, but instead of immediately publishing it, she first tormented her sister by showing her the photo. The vision of appearing publicly in such a humiliating situation made Lais raise hell at home. The fight was so intense that their mum had to intervene and order Sara to erase the photo.

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