Reading for Treasure

It’s Time for Your Cameo

Posted at Nov 24, 2016 8:00 am

proPaparazzi follow princesses and movie stars. Evil minions follow undercover operatives on a mission. And everyone follows you.

Potentially, at least.

In the U.S, it is estimated that over 30 million cameras record up to 4 billion hours of video each week. In Great Britain, as many as one camera for every 14 people record individuals up to 300 times per day. Japan takes the video monitoring a bit further, tying feeds into sophisticated advertising venues that flash targeted ads based on a person’s gender, age and other features.

Tourist areas, transit vehicles and merchants each have their own justifications for the myriad of cameras that watch each and every one of us. Most of the logic is understandable. But the idea of arming law enforcement officers with iris-scanning, facial-recognition, fingerprint-snatching devices isn’t the realm of fiction anymore. It’s as close as the nearest smart phone—or it could be, according to some websites (

And don’t even get me started on drones. As many as 30,000 of those unmanned vehicles could be flying around U.S. airspace in the next decades, according to some studies. That’s the official number–but your neighbor and his local Radio Shack could push it even higher.

The question isn’t who’s watching you. It’s who isn’t watching you.

Fortunately, some cameras are equipped with smart sensing technology designed to spot and flag unusual behavior. So unless you’re doing something suspicious, they may immediately erase—or not even bother recording—your video. Still, it’s unsettling to think of being watched all the time.

Which brings me back to princesses, celebrities, and heroines from all walks of life.

Since you can’t avoid the cameras (short of hunkering down in your closet behind last year’s fashion mistakes), why not at least give them something interesting to look at?

cutStand tall when you go outside your door. Put on an imaginary tiara if it helps. (I don’t recommend a real one—but, hey, it’s your cameo.) Pretend your clothes are top of the line designer inspirations—even if they came from the sale rack at the local bargain bin. As any heroine can tell you—attitude is everything. And it’s contagious. If you believe you’re special and worth watching for all the “right” reasons, so will everyone else.

Here’s one final tip. While you’re out there being a star for the cameras, let the catch you in acts of kindness. You’ll never know who you’ll inspire to do the same. But one thing’s for sure—someone will be watching.

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