Sara's Column: No place is safe from the eye of the camera

You can’t help but love Twitter sometimes. And cellphone cameras. They both have provided an immeasurable number of talking points – and punchlines – in recent years.
Apr 18, 2014
Sara McManamy-Johnson

You can’t help but love Twitter sometimes. And cellphone cameras. They both have provided an immeasurable number of talking points – and punchlines – in recent years.

I stumbled upon the photo shown above Thursday, and the possibilities were endless.

A bit of background: first off, no, he’s not about to jump (I figured I’d get that out of the way immediately). The gentleman in the photo is one of Tennessee’s state senators who simply wanted to have a phone conversation. 

On a ledge at the State Capitol. 

Sen. Frank Nicely, R-Strawberry Plains, was quick on the draw with the cellphone cam, though, and Tweeted out the photo.

“Sen. Mark Green finding a quiet spot on the ledge to make calls. #lastday #tnleg #postcardfromtheledge #tcot #tnsen,” wrote Nicely.

So of course the first question in my mind was, “Was the session THAT brutal?”

OK, I’ve seen enough coverage of it (and written a bit of it) to realize it probably was. But still. 

My next thought was that although he probably wasn’t expecting to be caught on camera, he probably should have expected as much.

Seriously, people snap photos of the burgers they had for lunch; did he really think they wouldn’t snap a photo of a guy chilling out on a ledge?

Which leads me to my point in all this. 

No one is safe from the camera anymore. Just because you don’t see a mega Canon with telephoto lens pointed in your direction doesn’t mean anything anymore. 

That sweet-looking grandma standing behind you in line may still think that Twitter is just that sound birds make way too early in the morning, but she’s got that cellphone cam ready and waiting to snap a photo the minute you do something that would make a funny post on Facebook.

The problem with putting a camera at the fingertips of everyone who carries a cellphone is that everyone with a cellphone has a camera at their fingertips.

And as of last year, 91 percent of Americans carried a cellphone, according to the Pew Research Internet Project. That’s more than 280 million people carrying cellphones, just using the total population count from the 2010 U.S. Census.

That’s a lot of cameras roaming around.

So if you’re not safely ensconced, alone, in your own home with the blinds shut, just assume there’s probably a camera nearby just waiting…

Sara McManamy-Johnson is the digital content director for The Lebanon Democrat and Wilson County News. Email her at sjohnson@lebanondemocrat.com or follow her on Twitter @wilsoncoreports.

 

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