Have We Become Paparazzi Owing to Smartphones and Social Media?

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We all are familiar with the jobs of the paps, right? They click photos and publicize them to earn a living. But, have you ever wondered that we are playing the role of paparazzi nowadays, with the help of our smartphones and social media accounts?

Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo

Also, there is an ongoing debate pertaining to whether social media and smartphones have invaded our privacy. Recently, this controversy seems to have boiled over when a customer at a Trader Joe’s store in New Jersey chanced upon a previous ‘the Cosby Show’ actor, who was apparently working as the store’s cashier. Well, the customer took photos and you guessed it right, posted them on the Internet; and yes, the photos went viral soon thereafter. Mainly, the coverage was focused on the financial realities that drive many actors to work on the side to make their living and for paying their surmounting bills. But, the bigger question is whether any individual has the right to get out their phones, take photographs of people who are going about their business, and posting the images on social media platforms for the world to see. [Read More: Beware, Paparazzi – Celebrity Parents Do Not Want Their Kid’s Pictures Clicked.]

Karma Lawrence

Smartphones are equipped with cameras, are easy to carry (unlike the traditional cameras that are too bulky to carry around), and are triggering the trend. In fact, we are always with our phones, even at places where we would not think of lugging around a camera. Come to think of it, would you bother trudging with your camera on a visit to the grocery store? The answer is plain and simple NO. Thus, you cannot dispute the fact that smartphones are responsible for such incidents.

Also, people do not display social etiquette these days. In the past, we would take the person’s content before clicking their photo. But, nowadays, no consent is taken and blatantly, the onlookers are whipping out their phones and clicking away; and to add insult to injury, sharing your pictures with the rest of the world – all without your approval.

Moreover, some advertisers could even earn revenue from pictures that they took of you – without your consent – and then, go on to distribute the images to make money in the process.

There have, also, been instances where people have been followed around and their pics are taken by unknown strangers. Also, if you are traveling by train, there are fat chances that somebody is clicking away to post on their social media platforms. Also, in some cases, they complain about how packed or hot the train compartments are. Whatever may be the case, the question arises, what bestows the rights on individuals to take photos of the bystanders without their permission?

Shibuya Station for the Toyoko Line

Furthermore, if you seem to object, they start hitting back and even pass rude comments for dissenting what is ‘ ordinary behavior’ according to them.

To curb opposing voices, camera-equipped photos are shoved in the faces of people to shut them up. Also, you could be trying to correct the wrongful actions of a person or a group of persons and most likely, they will surround you and start hurling abuses and rude comments; also, they may take photos to ridicule you over the Internet. Yes, such is life in 2018.

In fact, bullying and shaming people who seem ‘different’ has become the norm nowadays. The web-based platforms are actually tailored to encourage bullying, so it seems. At times, a person clicks photos of ‘unattractive’ individuals and shares them with their followers. And yes, they earn revenue from shaming innocent people who are going about their lives normally.

To sum it all up, you cannot dispute the fact that our phones rule our worlds these days, through which we freely take photos and post them on our social media accounts – just like paparazzi. In such a scenario, would you contest the notion that we have ourselves become the paparazzo?


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