In the future we will all be found naked

Bathroom selfshot in a sweat-shirt
Image by 2rms via Flickr

In the near future, give it twenty years or so, you will be able to see anyone you want, naked! It won’t be live, that will just be for those lucky few who can get dates but we will be able to search on the Internet and find questionable images of people. Don’t believe me? Let me explain.

A very quick and innocent Google image search often results in images that should not be seen by those too young to see them! This is why Google has SafeSearch, a filter that tries very hard to keep those images away from innocent eyes. Turn it off and no matter what you search for, chances are that you will see nakedness. Most of this will be of the ‘professional’ porn version, either pictures taken or video captures of pornographic movies. A small, and yet growing quickly, section of results though will be the amateur, or ‘selfshots’.

Selfshots are taken either in the bedroom or bathroom by young men and women who use either a camera cell phone or a digital camera. They, as the name suggests, take pictures of themselves in a manner of different ways. Taking a picture of themselves in the bathroom mirror, using a toe to click the button in the bedroom or even the most basic of styles, holding the camera at arms length and clicking away.

Of course, they not only take pictures of themselves, they do it with provocative poses, in various states of undress, and even while engaged in sexual activities. In this age of the Internet, what would have been kept quiet and never talked about is openly shared online in chat rooms and from cell phone to cell phone. The younger generation are becoming blase about this very public showing and there appears to be no end in sight. In fact, it can only be spurred on when celebrity cell phones are hacked to reveal that even famous people like to take ‘selfshots’ of themselves in bathroom mirrors.

There are whole websites dedicated to posting these images, and on picture blog website, Tumblr, there are plenty of blogs that regularly display images that just a few years ago would have caused embarrassment and concern.

You can’t blame an object for this, and the Internet doesn’t force anyone to do anything, it simply allows easier access to this sort of behaviour. Young men and women have always pushed their boundaries and rebelled but never have they had the opportunity to showcase their bodies to so many. To many people, the Internet is just a box, a computer that they don’t realise allows strangers from all over the world to look at your pictures, watch your videos and pass them to their friends.

A brilliant person once said that once something is on the Internet, it is online forever. Forever is a long time but this does appear to be very likely. As technology improves and gets better and more advanced, pictures that were once posted anonymously will be tracked back to those who posted them. Facial recognition software will be be able to put a name to an face. Potential employers will be able to run online checks to find every regrettable thing you have done online. A lot already do with Facebook so this is simply the next step.

With luck, the era of the ‘selfshot’ will just be a passing fad but with most cell phones having built in cameras, Internet access becoming more widely available and celebrities doing the exact same thing as these young men and women, there doesn’t appear to be a reason why it will.

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