Note: This post is of my own personal opinion and is not endorsed or supported by any local, state, or federal government agency.
There used to be a time when capturing a funny moment on camera and sending it America’s Funniest Home Videos to win $10,000 (and maybe $100,000 in the finals!) was the most exciting thing to do. Having America watch in laughter as your kid hit a ball from his new T-ball stand right into your “you know what”…as you crumble over in pain in agony…was absolutely hilarious. Sure a few million people saw you lose any chance of having a larger future gene pool, but it was SO worth it! You won $$$$!
Fast-forward to today. YouTube, Vimeo, and other video-sharing sites have done away with the need for funny video TV shows. You can record a video with a camcorder, cell-phone, laptop. Upload video from police cars and security cameras. In a matter of minutes your funny video is now available to the entire world…the ENTIRE world. Not just America folks. Where once America (and a few international audiences) could see you fall over in pain, now people in India, China, UK, Greece, Indonesia, Finland…all can enjoy watching you crumble in pain. But what are you getting for it? You’re not getting paid. There’s no companies banging on your door offering endorsements or for you to be their “Next Big Super Star.” No…there’s nothing. You might get lucky but the chances are very slim.
So why do I say all this? If you haven’t been under a rock the last week, then you’re certainly aware of the latest viral video hitting “the tubes” of a 7-year old boy who just left the dentist and is woozy from the medicine. His dad wanted to record his experience from the dentist visit as something to show his son later on (oh, and probably just so he could upload it and get other people to watch and talk about it). Well, it worked. But what seemed innocent at first, admittedly it is funny, is going to end up haunting this 7-year olds’ life for years to come. Just like the Star Wars kid, and many others before him, he’s going to get picked on constantly at school. Kids in the hallways will laugh at him, whisper and snicker as he walks by. Eventually they’ll stop, but they’ll probably never forget. Years from now he’ll be able to laugh about it as he’s regained his self-esteem. But until then he’s going to be dealing with the outcome. He’s in 2nd grade (most likely) and kids can be very interesting at that age. Even worse, or maybe funnier, are that people have already begun remixing it which sort adds a whole other level of options for kids to pick on.
So, this is just a reminder to everyone out there (I’m guilty as well) that when you take the cute video of your kid doing something absolutely hilarious…just remember that the rest of the world is watching and that they may never let him/her live it down. The camera used to be a tool for capturing life’s precious moments for your family to watch as they get older. Nowadays, life’s precious moments are truly life-lasting…immediately and forever in “the tubes.”
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