Why We All Need to Learn to Live on Camera

I was struck by a recent video of a soldier who apparently took some woman’s parking spot and then went off the rails when she objected. He bad-mouthed the U.S. military and the U.S., abused his wife, and put his child at risk.

A decade ago we probably wouldn’t have seen this incident, but now there is a good chance that anyone who misbehaves, as this guy clearly did, will be caught on camera. In many cases, these are life-changing events — and not in a good way.

In some cases, the people caught are serial abusers and should be punished, but often these videos capture individuals who are just having a bad day and letting their anger get the best of them.

Frankly, if a soldier in uniform takes your parking place, you should just point out what they did, thank them for their service, and move on. Giving them your parking spot, given what they do for us, is literally the least we can do. Further, we know that soldiers coming back from a war zone often have significant anger issues.

Of course, you don’t — and shouldn’t — get a pass for abusing a spouse, bad mouthing your service, particularly while in uniform, or bad mouthing the country you serve. This guy is probably done. Still, something of this sort could happen to any of us on a really bad day, when something happens that pushes our buttons and our anger takes over.

Now it used to be that these incidents were localized and without record. Now, with everyone carrying connected cameras (smartphones) all the time, we are one video, picture or social media post away from becoming infamous. One video, picture or post at the wrong time could end our careers, our marriages — even land us in jail.

I think this means we really need to think more about how we behave in public, and that we should take aggressive steps to teach our kids to be more careful. One wrong action or tweet in public and their careers, college prospects, and future lives could be destroyed before they even start.

This brings to mind Walt Disney and the rules he put in place at Disneyland — I think they provide the best example for how we should behave. Those rules appear to be holding despite allegations that the firm has mistreated its employees. Although Disney disagrees, a firm is never really credible in situations like this.

I’ll focus on how we can protect ourselves from ourselves in a world where we are always on stage, and then close with my product of the week: the Lenovo Smart Clock with Google Assistant, a reimagining of what a bedside alarm clock should be.