September 4, 2014

For all the world to see

My kids have never known the world without cell phones and the internet.  Every week, when sharing some story about my youth, I find myself pointing out those differences.  When I had a question, I couldn't just Google it.  When I was going to be late getting home, I had to search for a payphone and a dime, to let someone know.

And, if there was ever an instance in which a NSFW photo was going to be taken, it was done with a Polaroid camera (unless you had your own dark room).  There were always rumors that those little photo developing shacks kept copies of the racy photos that they developed for others, and in more recent years, there are well documented cases of pedophiles and other criminals that were caught because photo developers turned their pictures over to law enforcement.

Despite daily discussions about the various dangers of our digital world, my kids have never known anything else.  'The Cloud' isn't a mysterious technological wonder to them, it is an everyday part of their world.  I am not sure how to impress upon them the real damage that can be done through the information, and images, that are out there floating in cyber space.

I have about zero sympathy for celebrities who were hacked, and whose nekkid amateur selfies ended up for sale online.  They should know better.  And statements about respecting their privacy are worthy of a hearty laugh, since their very success depends on exposure.  For them to think that they can control the amount of exposure, yet record images like that, is naive.

Is our current societal addiction to capturing everything we see and do, conceit, narcissism, a desire to immortalize, or something else?

Whatever it may be, I strive to keep the dearest parts of my life close to the vest.  Probably because I was young and dumb once, too, and face every day wondering what happened to those pictures from that Trash Can Punch party in 1982.

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