The Whole World Is Watching

The diamond is no longer the most enduring substance on earth – an unflattering photo on the internet has taken its place.
by Jim Fair | Source: Catholic.net

I was a young boy a long time ago – at least to someone of the digital generation.

Yes, we had photography and movies.  We didn’t have digital cameras or camcorders.  It other words, before you saw a photograph or a movie, you had to have the film developed.  And to do that, it had to go someplace to be processed.

That someplace was likely the corner drugstore or local camera dealer.  And that meant that whatever was on the film was likely to be seen by someone you knew.  And that meant that we, being of a more gentile generation, were careful about what was on the film.

No…you didn’t take photos of mom sunbathing in the back yard.  You didn’t take pictures of big sister with rollers in her hair.  And you certainly didn’t take pictures of people don’t anything overly affectionate.

Fast forward a few years (a camcordian term) and you have digital cameras.  What a joy…you don’t have to pay for developing.  And if you accidently (or even on purpose) take a picture of your  brother in his boxer shorts you can delete it.  Or you can save it, but Mr. McGee at the drugstore will never know.

Fast forward to the present and you have digital photography and video, combined with the power of the internet – and sometimes combined with an immense lack of common sense.

Now you can get an embarrassing shot of a friend and post it for the world to see.  Or…you can do something absolutely embarrassing yourself, record it and share it with everyone on earth.

I have a feeling this possibility will not have a happy ending for a great many people. 

Those wild video clips from the bachelor party might look funny on your social-networking site today – but maybe not so funny when your kids come across them in 20 years.  The pictures of the drunken fraternity party might look funny today, but not in the hands of the county prosecutor when you are in court on drunk-driving charges in two years.  And what about all the “girls gone wild” who will grown into “girls gone regretful” when a husband, parent or employer stumbles across their overly enthusiastic self expression.

Yes, we have come a long way from “be careful where you point the camera” to “let me share every part of me with everyone.”  And as many people have learned, the diamond is no longer the most enduring substance on earth – it is an unflattering photo on the internet.

I’m not sure this is the highest and best use of the amazing media technology that brilliant minds and the gifts of God have put at our disposal.

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