Take a second or two to think, do you really need to post that?

Patrick Koster, News Editor

It was a normal day like any other. There I was, mindlessly scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when something caught my attention. One of my “friends” had shared something that made me stop right in my Facebook-scrolling tracks.

It was a video. At first glance, the video was like any other. It had a beginning, a middle, and an end. Like most videos shared on Facebook, it had people in it and lasted for a couple of minutes.

But on further inspection, this was no ordinary video. This one was different from a lot of the humorous and fun-filled videos that normally occupy my newsfeed.

The video was of an elderly man singing to his dying wife in what appeared to be a hospital or a nursing home. The video was taken by the couple’s daughter, who would occasionally say something through a quivering voice to help her father understand what his wife was saying to him.

My first thoughts about the video were what I assume would be most people’s thoughts on it: the video was touching, adorable, bittersweet, heartwarming – you get the point.

Which it was. The video was all of the aforementioned adjectives. And, while I did get a serious case of the feels, I stopped myself.

I stopped myself from simply saying “Oh, how sweet that man is for singing to his dying wife” and moving on with my day. I began to think.

Why would somebody post something like that?

The video wasn’t graphic, unless you consider a person’s final living moments really disturbing for some reason. Overall, the video was pretty harmless. It might have made you feel a mixture of emotions, but it wasn’t something that was outlandish.

However, I still questioned the reasoning behind posting the video. (This particular video was shared, so it wasn’t technically posted to Facebook, but somehow it ended up on the Internet.) I knew I would never know the true reasoning, but it made me wonder even further.

Someone’s final moments should be a very personal, private matter. Did the daughter get permission to take a video of her mother’s last moments and then share it online?

Even if she got permission, was it still morally okay to do so? One might reason and say yes, but I still say no.

After thinking about the video of the elderly couple, my mind began to drift to the exact opposite: young people on social media. Really young people, especially.

I thought about all of the photos and videos I’ve seen of babies and toddlers from friends, family, and even random ones, over time. I thought about how strange it was to share these things with massive amounts of people online.

Sure, parents are going to take photos and videos of their adorable children and want to share them with people they know. Every parent I know does.

Sharing photos and videos on Facebook is the modern equivalent to having friends and family look at a photo album. (A real photo album where you have to physically turn the pages. I know, I’m talking about ancient artifacts here.) There isn’t really anything wrong with that.

But what about sharing them with strangers, or not-so-close “friends” online?

Remember that time your parents embarrassed you in front of your friends and family by showing that embarrassing baby photo to them? No? Well, you are a very lucky person.

For those who’ve had that happen to them, now take that embarrassing photo and share it with everybody online. Some of you would probably do it without question, others might be a little hesitant.

The point is, those babies of today may not like their early memories being shared with hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people once they learn about the Internet. So, why post them?

Of course, parents have somewhat of a right to share their child’s photos and videos, but maybe they should reconsider exactly what they share.

People’s final living moments, however, I do not think should be shared online at all. They probably shouldn’t even be recorded, no matter how emotionally-charged they may be.

We live in a time where everything has to be recorded. Every event has to have photos and videos taken of it, otherwise it didn’t happen.

Perhaps some memories aren’t meant to be captured with a camera, but only with our eyes.


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Twitter: @KatPoster