Yesterday I found myself spending an inordinate amount of time defending my position on webcams. I even took a phone call from a veterinarian in Indiana who wanted to ensure that I knew how important it was for him to have access to a certain webcam so he could check the weather here in our state because he has a farm here. (By the way, nothing was further from the intended purpose of said webcam, so it really didn’t make much of an impression on me.)
Time out! Since when did having a webcam become both a priority and a privelege? I’ll set aside my first impression of some webcams I’ve seen. You know, the ones that seem to serve those voyeuristic tendencies some people have. No, I’ll focus on the fact that some webcams present risks that folks here where I work don’t often think about. We forget about the people that use webcams to show the world foolish pranks that seem innocent, but, cost PR people a lot of time when having to deal with the press, parents, administrators, etc. We forget that there are people in the world who just aren’t nice and would use the webcam for the wrong reasons, like stalking. We forget that there are a lot of other priorities that can’t be funded because of limited resources and that doing something like investing in webcams is both frivolous and unnecessary. We forget that some people simply don’t like the thought of being watched without their knowledge or permission. It’s called “privacy.”
I would agree that occasionally a webcam has a useful purpose, but, those times should be well thought and well planned. And that, dear readers, is what I think about that. Hmmph!
Now that I’ve completely slammed webcams, are there any you find useful? I’m always open to being convinced that I’m wrong.