When transitory becomes permanent / by kevin murray

We live in an age in which every conversation, even when someone is just talking to themselves, is capable of being recorded, unwittingly or not.  Nowadays, smart phones are ubiquitous, which can audio or video record anyone at a simple touch of a button. In addition, smart personal assistants such as Alexa, or Siri, can listen in to everything that we say and are always-on.  In so many ways, we are surrounded by devices that can record all of our auditory activities, and often too by devices that can record our video motions as well.


Human beings are by nature social creatures that have a need to interact with other human beings, in which, not everything that is said or done by those people is something that should or needs to be recorded for posterity.  Additionally, people do all sorts of embarrassing things, regretful things, and stupid things, whether in a fit of anger, or disappointment, or by virtue of just having one of those days, of which, it isn't fair or right for those people involved in such, that they should be recorded having done so, without their express knowledge, beforehand.


The answer to all of these devices that can record and often do record so many things, appropriate or not, isn't necessarily the issuance of full disclosure that these happenings are being recorded in real time, for that in itself, would have a strong tendency to stifle open dialog, spontaneity, and the ability to openly engage with other people in a manner in which people can be their real selves, as well as it would likely have a strong tendency to get more people to conform to social norms, and to censor themselves, at least, in those areas in which such recordings are prevalent.


The answer, instead, is the recognition that when any and everything is allowed to be recorded, then essentially what use to be transitory, has for all intents and purposes, has become permanent, and that permanence is destructive towards the good relationships that people need to have with one another.  That is to say, when anything that is recorded, can be taken out of context, can be edited, and can be displayed in social media or similar, without the party in question, having their own say in the matter, then the end result is that real personalities of people are going to be stifled and suppressed, and they will only be able to be their real self, if that, when they are away from being recorded.


Not everything that is said is meant to be recorded, and not everything that is done, is meant to be recorded.  Human beings are fallible, and because they are fallible, they should be accorded the courtesy of being able to say and to do things that are relevant for that time and place, but are not relevant for all time and for all places.  For everything there is a season, and just because technology presents mankind the opportunity to record, collate, analyze, and post just about everything that occurs, meaningful or not, does not mean it is right to do it, and that it should be done.  Instead, it must be recognized that some things, perhaps most things, are meant to be impermanent and fleeting, and thereby to take what is transitory and brand it as permanent, is a grand disservice to all.