Picture please!

Monday, 20 January 2014 - 9:59am IST | Agency: DNA

Everything can be snapped, shot, photographed and recorded. In a heartbeat, a moment is captured forever. And electronic companies are spending more every year so that we can spend less on cameras. Everyone has one. All the time. So what is going on with privacy? How do we define privacy today?

Is it a party private if the pictures are posted on Facebook? A space that is more likely to be seen, than perhaps any other? Picture this: You are invited to an ‘intimate’ evening. You enter and you’re pleasantly surprised with no paparazzi, no press, just friends, the night air and good food and drink. You decide to let yourself go. A few hours later, you’re posing your finest, most confident poses. All the women are pouting and pushing. The more sober ones position themselves well to hide flab and other flaws. And snap! The picture is shot. The moment is over. Until you start getting sniggering comments like, “So you seemed to have had a fun night. Rocked it huh?” But this person wasn’t at the party. And you’re quite sure you had not updated your display picture. By the time you were sober enough to do so, you had posted a saying on spirituality and letting go.

Here’s another scenario: You’re at lunch with your ‘bestie’. You left out the third one in the group ‘cause the two of you wanted to catch on something alone. You choose a restaurant that she never goes to and the crowded kitty party on the next table has both of you in the background of their 100 display pictures. The pictures that are updated by each and every lunching lady, where only a handful are careful enough to crop you out. Privacy lost. Again.

What about the mother who goes to school and takes pictures of children including yours and then posts them on class chats? Except that your child isn’t in the mood. (Maybe because other moms were there and you weren’t?) And you see that in his eyes. And that wrenching feeling, the sinking in your heart, is so different to the last time she posted a picture of your child grinning from ear to ear.

There is nothing left unseen. There are eyes anywhere. There’s no concept like just letting go, since we’re always being watched. And of course, we’re always watching. We are insecure without those phones, snapping away. And our children learn from us and picture everything. To remember the beautiful moments. But also, these are moments we will now never forget.

So next time you take a picture, send one out or strike a pose, remember that what you’re doing now, is out there forever. To buy the good life is easy, to capture it at every moment, easier than ever before, but to live it, one has to learn the way…!

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