Native Americans believed that a picture stole a person's soul.
Maybe they didn't really understand photography, and thought that a piece of the actual soul was captured on film to make the actual picture. Or maybe they thought that the picture gave a different view of an event, and therefore cheapened an experience somehow.
Or maybe they just had a point, and it just took the emergence of the Internet to prove it.
To be clear, I don't really think that pictures can steal your soul. But I do believe that pictures, especially pictures uploaded online and shared with the entire world, can have a devastating impact on your earthly, biological life. A picture of you doing something illegal or just plain dumb that gets posted to Facebook can ruin your chances for a good job. A mugshot of you in the newspaper can shame your family.
Imagine your image shown in an unflattering light in the newspaper, online and on TV. That image will probably stick with your friends and family for a while. Some people may never look at you the same way again. There are websites devoted to just that kind of thing.
Take this picture, for example. I mean, does this look like a respectable person just graduated from college? Or does this look like a sex offender flashing his junk?
For the record, I was hot and just needed a draft to cool me down. I mean, I graduated in the summer! Those innocent bystanders just happened to be standing there at the time.
Or what about this picture? Is this guy showing off his belly? Is he in a commercial for a weight loss diet? Or is he sexily feeling himself up on some sort of web cam porno site?
Actually, that one was a trick question. The answer is that he was sexily feeling himself up on some sort of web cam site that caters to people trying to lose weight.
OK, how about this one? Is this a Halloween outfit? Is this a Mexican wrestling promotion? Or is this guy's soul slowly being sucked from his flabby body?
Last one. How about this guy, fighting with an inflatable alligator on the beach... would you want your kid near him?
Maybe the Native Americans were right. If a picture steals your chance at happiness, does it also not steal your soul?
Of course, not all pictures are bad, so not all pictures can be detrimental to your spiritual well-being. I think it's worth looking at a good picture at this point:
Yeah, OK, so I already used that picture once. So sue me! You know you liked it!