Unsolicited Advice: Be Careful at Holiday Parties

Self-Portrait, Christmas-Style by jimw from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Self-Portrait, Christmas-Style by jimw from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Back when I was in high school and college, there was always one friend at every party who brought a camera and a few days after the party that people would be confronted with the evidence of the stupid things they did the previous weekend. I was lucky because this was back in the days of film. If the person only had one roll of film, they only had 24 chances to capture footage from the party so they would be more thoughtful about what they captured. And they knew the pictures would be processed by a person so they rarely shot anything that would get them into trouble.

Those days are long gone. Now everyone has a smartphone with a built in camera and video camera in their back pocket. If there is a moment worth capturing at a party, it will be recorded, probably by multiple people. And then it will be posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. 30 seconds later, before the poster really has had a chance to think through whether they should be sharing that image or video with the Internet-accessible planet. If they decide later to delete the post, who knows how many times it will have been seen, shared, downloaded, and what that effect might be (on everyone involved).

The holiday season is upon us. Between now and New Year’s there will be copious gatherings, parties, and other frivolity. A lot of people will be drinking and making asses of themselves while under the influence. If that’s you, you may want to take it easy because you don’t know and usually have no control over whether someone will take a picture of you or where it will end up.

If you’re that guy who is swift to whip out their phone to snap a photo of your buddy or random strangers doing stupid things, think before you shoot and share. It might be funny in the moment, but it could have dire consequences for the person in the photo. And you might look like a thoughtless jerk for being the person who took and shared the photo in the first place.

Remember – just because you’re in a photo it doesn’t mean you own it or have any say over where it is published.

Have a safe and happy holiday season! If you want to chat with me about this or any other topic, you can connect with meTwitterGoogle+FacebookYouTubeLinkedIn, or you can email me.
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