I’m in Los Angeles for a couple of days. My sister, Barbara Yablon Maida, has just become the esteemed Barbara Yablon Maida, Ph. D. This video, shot at the graduation ceremony of the UCLA Geography Department, is the proof.

And it’s all the proof available, because my efforts to chronicle the now-she-is-a-doctor-and-I-am-incredibly-proud-of-my-sister robing of Dr. Yablon Maida were foiled by . . . the Internet.

Everything was going fine, by the way. I was streaming video of the graduation ceremony using USTREAM.TV, making it possible for friends and family members who weren’t at the event to see it live, anyway. And then, the microphone picked up one of my relatives making a remark that he was concerned could cause him some embarrassment if it got out. I stopped streaming, and deleted the archive video.

I’m a lucky guy. You may remember that my son Gary Yablon graduated from Rowan University less than a month ago; it’s not often you get to be proud like this twice in so short a period of time. But this little snafu didn’t make me feel lucky!

When you shoot video, it’s yours. When you put it on the Internet, it’s not yours any longer. Anyone can see it. There’s no privacy, and no control of what happens. And that truth just “is”. I’ve written about privacy a few times, and the more I think about the subject the more I believe that privacy was a fad. Privacy didn’t even exist until recently, and it’s going away again; the whole world is our new town square, and nobody has curtains on their windows.

Of course, my problems shooting video at the UCLA Geography Department graduation ceremony are nothing compared to what Ryan Giggs and Imogen Thomas recently learned about privacy, right?

And hey: maybe we’re all better off for my having to reduce the video footage to this short “money shot”. Did anyone really need to watch the processional, listen to Pomp and Circumstance, or hear boring speakers ramble on for too long?

Please remember that when you point a camera at something and post results on-line you’re sharing with everyone.


And once it’s out there, you can’t get it back.

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