I remember, long ago, when you could do something stupid or silly in public and not have to worry about it. Yes, your friends had a good laugh at your expense, and it might even have been scandalous, but the accounts were all verbal, albeit occasionally someone took a photo, if they happened to have a camera. The photo was on film, had to be developed (which took days usually) and was difficult to copy and distribute. Those were the days!
That’s not true anymore. Now everyone, almost literally, carries at least one camera at all times. Worse yet, that camera is usually attached directly to the internet, the place where stupidity is enshrined for all time.
Actually, it’s even worse than this; there are surveillance cameras almost everywhere these days. In any city (in the United States at least) you cannot walk a block without being captured on video by one or more cameras. Every business has multiple cameras recording everything that goes on constantly.
You can be absolutely sure if you live in a city you will be captured on camera multiple times per day.
In some countries permission is needed to publish images; that’s not true of the United States. Your image is not private and can be published at will; there are exceptions to this rule (such as a picture taken without your permission where you had a reasonable expectation of privacy), but you can generally assume if someone snaps your picture, they can publish it.
Anyone who hangs out for very long on any social media site such as facebook is familiar with the phenomenon of surveillance videos going viral or the drunken photo appearing on the wall of everyone whose is friends with an ex-whatever.
So what does it all mean? Is it really important that your picture is taken dozens or hundreds of times each day, that you appear on a video countless times each month, and that hundreds, thousands or even millions of people can observe what you’ve done over and over?
Those pictures enshrining your stupidity can be important. More than a few job offers have not been made because of one silly drunken photo on facebook. People can and do get fired when photos of stupid or even criminal circumstances are found. Many relationships are changed forever when that video they made, just for themselves, one night somehow got released on the internet soon after the breakup.
Maybe it’s not such a bad thing after all.
Perhaps the result is we should be more aware that we can be photographed at any point in our lives, and those photos and videos can be used in any way.
So my thought is to take note of this and start behaving in a way where it does not matter if anything you are doing at the moment in public is made public.
Perhaps it’s time to start behaving ethically and sanely in public; and if you don’t you accept that your little (or big) slip-ups will be enshrined for all to see.
It’s just a random thought from someone who woke up way too early on a Sunday morning.