Cameras are now standard features for most mobile phones. The all-in-one ease of access has created an increased desire to snap and share everything from beautiful meals to oddly dressed strangers to silly signs.
A number of mobiles are addressing the trend by including very high quality cameras and editing software as standard inclusions, which allows hobbyists greater opportunities to improve and capture some truly stunning shots. That’s the good news. What’s not so good is that mobile cameras have not only hurt the worldwide sales of their digital and film-based siblings, they’ve also made people lose a good bit of etiquette, common courtesy and common sense.
Many people lead dual lives, the one at work and the one away from work. Web users with both tech and street smarts try not to blend the two online. Yet that doesn’t mean friends will always show consideration of others. So that tagged photo with your name in the caption? The one of you trashed the night before you call into work saying you’re sick? What’s to keep fellow employees and an employer from seeing it? The sad thing is you can choose to be a decent human being and you can even surround yourself with good friends. However, if you party in public or conduct any questionable behaviour in public there is a very good chance it will end up online. It’s a photo happy world, where everyone with a smartphone is now a novice documentarian, the paparazzi and the work police all rolled into one. So be careful to be on guard and also show some respect for others when thinking of posting images.
Sexting has become so common that it’s old news to see some politician or public figure thrown under the bus for inappropriate behaviours. Yet the exchange of heated messages and intimate images is not strictly reserved for celebrities. Sure some everyday people do it to try and help spice up a relationship that’s gone cold. Yet those images and messages are not ones that can ever be taken back. Once relationships end they can also become incredibly painful and embarrassing reminders of misplaced trust and poor judgment.
Plus you may not be famous now but no matter how far you go in life those documents will always be around, just waiting to go public at the most awkward and inconvenient time possible. Sending intimate messages via mobile and the internet is akin to getting a really trashy tattoo, yet far more permanent. Even tattoos can be removed these days.
One time on Facebook an acquaintance posted an image of the keys to her new home. On the key ring was her address. She then posted interior images of the house, which included great shots of her husband’s fantastic collection of music gear and sound equipment. Said-husband and wife then developed a habit of “checking in” at various locations. Their home was broken into and cleaned out.
Even if privacy settings are ramped up to the max it is all too easy for friends of friends to see what should be private information. Yet it is astounding how many people think that all but drawing a map for would-be burglars is sensible. Plus many social media platforms have users sign agreements to let the sites use their images for whatever purposes they choose. So if that all-to-public lingerie photo was to make an ex mad remember it could soon be used for other purposes that may prove embarrassing and not even be something you will be compensated for.
Taking photos and sharing them with friends across the globe has never been easier. But maybe it’s all too easy. Even the most basic mobiles can help owners take sharp and sometimes stunning images but they can’t teach users to think before they snap and share. There’s no app teaching photo taking etiquette, at least not yet, anyway. The best rule is to treat others with the same courtesy you’d like to be afforded–and if not, then at least have a sense of humor about it when that photo of you faceplanting at the pub goes viral.