I’ve lived most of my working life in front of a camera. For 34 years I reacted to a red light and talked when it flashed. There was always time to prepare. The camera operator would step into position and a voice in my ear would explain there were two minutes to transmission. Two minutes seemed like two hours. I could check a script, brush the hair I used to have, fix make-up and have a long refreshing drink of water in those two minutes.
Most of this was during an era when a live camera was a special piece of equipment.
Lots of people could record video, but very few had the ability to transmit.
It was during a time when we still accepted that the Orwellian promise of Big Brother would not be fulfilled. How wrong we were.
Now everyone has the ability to monitor and broadcast life as it happens.
There are very few places that we could describe as being fully safe from the possibility of the public gaze. This week hidden cameras in rented holiday accommodation once again made the headlines.
A warning that the property owner in a bid to secure every room in the house might be able to see your every move. Any teenager with a GCSE in hacking could upload your downtime causing you a lifetime of embarrassment.
As we travel we should always remember we are being tracked, recorded and transmitted in real time. The cameras are always close by.
The dash cam and the helmet mount mean any move could come back to haunt us. There is no escaping the possibility of being caught out. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve wanted to gesture at drivers who skim past me when I’m riding my bike to work.
A good old fashioned finger movement might work a treat, but when it’s put to music on social media I’d have a long time to regret it.
It’s best to grit the teeth and ride on.
With the knowledge that cameras are everywhere, why do so many people not seem to care?
They go on through life apparently happy to be caught in embarrassing situations, some of them showing pride in being seen as grade A morons.
Others are simply caught in a moment of weakness or madness and to be honest that could happen to any of us. The partner of Man City star Phil Foden probably regrets giving him a dressing down leaving the beach while on holiday.
He’s probably relieved he never answered her as it was all being filmed by a sunbather. It’s impossible to always be alert to the presence of the camera.
However, when there are 70,000 people watching you, all of them most likely holding a phone, and you are live on television in front of another 4,000,000, why would you allow yourself to forget the eyes are on you?
Last Sunday in Croke Park, a number of GAA players behaved as if they were in a John Wayne saloon brawl. There were TV cameras dotted all around the stadium and professional photographers snapping every move, but these sportsmen were prepared to disgrace themselves, their clubs, their fans, their counties and the GAA, with antics that sadly are all too common in Gaelic games.
There were many players and officials who tried to stop the melee and are to be commended but those who fuelled the fight need to be punished, if not for the unacceptable nature of what was happening, then for the sheer stupidity of not knowing they were bringing global disgrace on the two fine counties of Armagh and Galway.
Frank presents U105 Phone In Monday-Friday, 9am-noon