Saturday, October 23, 2010

Somebody's Watching...

Check out these pictures! They were taken in 1948. The boys in the picture were 18 years old and just graduated from High School. I’m humored by the boys in these photos, both by their youthful exuberance and their charm. (Ignore the fact that one looks like Jake Gyllenhaal – I don’t know who he is - a Gr. Grandfather perhaps?!!)

In the first picture one boy is making an obvious statement by holding up his clear glass soda bottle while his companions hold up dark bottles. In the second picture he’s making an obvious statement by thrusting out his gut and holding the dark glass bottle to his lips. Either picture tells a tale.

These pictures were taken 62 years ago. The boy in question is not even alive any more. He’s left a legacy of children, in-laws, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Each of which have made their own assumptions about the fluid being consumed when they have seen these photos. Truth is, we’ll never definitely know what those boys were drinking and it doesn’t matter. But the suppositions will never die.

There’s an old 80’s song, recently been made popular by Geico Insurance, which contains the line, “I’ve got the feeling, somebody’s watching me.” The song creeped me out when it first came out and the big-eyed little stack of money doesn’t lessen that creepy feeling for me.

Awhile ago I heard Kim Komando (http:// busting out some rather startling statistics. According to her, 80% of perspective employees check Face Book on every job applicant they receive. Kim went on to say that 1 in 5 teens have texted or emailed some form of nude picture of themselves to others. In addition, 2 in 5 have been involved in some form of explicit or inappropriate texting.

I couldn’t help but contemplate the possibilities those statistics conjure up.

If two 62-year-old photos could stir up assumptions - what on earth will all of those random texts and photos stir up in someone else’s future? There won’t be two old photos in the possession of a handful of people; there will be 100’s of photos for the entire world to see with the mere click of a button.

We live in a world where beauty queens and Olympians are destroyed due to random old photos suddenly surfacing. Yet, still we gleefully post, text, and send away. Even if we’re not being flippant with our images, the possibilities of someone else snagging a picture of you and posting it online are pretty good.

Back in the day there were “mother networks” in every community. They knew whose kids were up to what and they were quick to report to (and support) one another. My mother had such a network. She made George Orwell’s, “1984” prediction of the existence of a “Big Brother” that would watch and record our every move completely conceivable. I swear my mother had spies, she’d know what I’d gotten into before I’d even pulled in the driveway. I learned the best way to avoid the stress was to avoid the inappropriate behavior, because she’d hear about it. However, in my wildest dreams, I never considered that the future “Big Brother” would be a beast we feed and groom ourselves.

Let’s face facts, this technology isn’t going away, those images are out there, never to be retrieved. So, what to do?

IF you don’t want a picture of you posted on the world-wide-web engaged in some questionable activity, then avoid the activity.

IF you don’t want your future boss to know about inappropriate antics you pull in your leisure time, then consider changing how you spend your time.

The pictures will be posted - you’re not magical enough to avoid that.

The only thing you can control is what you choose to do, where you choose to go, and how you choose to be seen.

“I’ve got this feeling…somebody’s watching…” You!


  1. Ha ha, I remember you showing me this picture of Grandpa :) It's true, you never know who's watching. Thanks for the excellent reminder to me to lock my children up and away from technology for the next 20 years :)

    So glad you posted again. xoxo

  2. Holy Cow! He does look like Jake Gyllenhal! This was a bit hard for me to read because I have a son who posts strange daily facebook contributions. He says he just likes to make people think. Think what? See, I know my boy. Others do not and it bothers me that the whole world gets to know my boy by random creativeness that comes off questionable. What to do....have him read your blog?

  3. Methinks Dad is a lot like Grandpa! Ha ha...passive aggressive political statements. You, you're just aggressive. :) Me, well, I'm a little bit of both...this is definitely good food for thought!