‘Today’s newspaper is tomorrow’s fish and chip paper.’
As someone whose livelihood revolves around news, I’ve never been too keen on this saying, even though I understand it’s trying to convey that what’s important today will soon be forgotten.
But quite aside from the fact that fish and chips are no longer wrapped in newspaper, the saying has become completely outdated in today’s digital world.
Gone are the days of out of sight, out of mind as there are so many sources where people get their news fix including news websites, social media and blogs.
And it’s not just news that gets this treatment but every area of our life as the microscope of the modern world means things that we’d prefer remained forgotten can suddenly resurfaceand come back to haunt us.
It’s with nostalgic fondness we can reflect on all those terrible photographs of us when we were younger with awful haircuts, goofy teeth and horrendous clothes which are safely hidden away in our parents’ home in a dusty photo album with plastic sheets which have lost all of their stickiness.
Wouldn’t it be dreadful if all these embarrassing snaps were unearthed and posted for all and sundry to see?
That’s the reality for the youngsters of today who often have everything from their scan picture onwards posted all over social media – at least all we had to worry about was our mum and dad bringing out photo albums in front of our friends.
The power of the Internet means once it’s in the public domain, no humiliating photo or moment is safe and once it’s out there, consider it immortalised forever.
And even encounters you’d thought you’d brushed under the carpet or cringe worthy blunders you hoped had been wiped from everyone’s memory can have a habit of rearing their ugly head when you least expect it.
It’s not just photos that can be the problem – but live footage too as you never know who might be filming.
This week, I discovered first-hand how things you thought had been forgotten can be captured by camera and resurface years later.
At our children’s first sports day at primary school, I was persuaded to enter the mums’ race.
Being an experienced high heels wearer, I stupidly thought it would be a doddle running that short distance in heels – but I suffered the indignity of falling flat on my face leaving me with a bruised ego.
I learned from my mistake and never took part in the mums’ race again and thought the incident had all but been obliterated from people’s minds.
But one of my friends was sorting through films of her children and discovered the footage which she gleefully shared with me and some other friends on Facebook.
There was a gruesome fascination in watching and reliving the mortifying tumble complete with the sound effects of laughter and “oooohs” from the crowd.
I was actually quite impressed at how quickly I got back on my feet and completed the race.
So wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing, watch out for the candid camera.
There’s another saying: “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”
Unless of course you have a friend with a mobile phone and a Facebook or Twitter account...