GRE Issue Essay 80

“The video camera provides such an accurate and convincing record of contemporary life that it has become a more important form of documentation than written records.”

With technology governing the way we work and the way we lead our lives, it is impossible to stick to old procedures and practices. Though official and legal bindings compel us to stick to norms, we prefer to make full use of technology at our personal levels. Take the case in question about record keeping through video cameras rather than writings. We would not think twice before recording an event in the family through a video camera. None of us would think of keeping a written track of events. In fact, in today’s contemporary world, it is difficult to imagine people filling pages and pages to keep records of important events. Even the concept of daily dairy is now replaced with video diaries. I agree with the above statement, though not completely. In my view, judicious use of technology for the benefit of all should be encouraged, but completely replacing written records for video records is not as rampant, and it is so for obvious reasons.

Video recording over writing is a faster, easier and more reliable method of record keeping. For instance, when the proceedings of a court case have to be recorded, a typist is engaged throughout the proceedings to type in the statements. Video recording of the event would provide an equally efficient archive. Similarly, video recording the events of a meeting can also be efficient. Many a court cases have been solved due to evidence presented in the form of video recordings. People maintain video scrapbooks rather than paper scrapbooks now-a-days, simply because of the ease and flexibility video recording offers. Not only is it easy to create a video record, but also storing, editing and reproducing it is. In fact, video tapes used before for recording are now pass. Compact disks, memory cards, mobiles etc are more common forms of memory. These records are more portable and easy to duplicate, as compared with video cassettes and written records.

Nonetheless, advances in technology have their own cons. Where it is easier to keep records of events through video recordings, it is equally easy to edit records and make a lie look as good as truth. There have been numerous cases in which images of people have been morphed by using easily available software. Moreover, unclear recordings of events can lead us to interpret false as true. There is no way we can record signatures of people where they certify that the recordings are true and that their consent is sought. For instance, there could be cases of forced marriages, impersonations, duplications of items etc. There could be unclear or no sound at all in the recordings. The records would highly depend upon the situations in which the film has been captured.

Though there are many pros of recording videos for record keeping, there is no denying that there is a long way to go before we can completely be done away with written records. Where video recordings are ideal for personal events and those that are not bound by legal matters, written records are more reliable for legal issues. With signatures being a main means of ascertaining the validity of any document, video recordings are not used for recordings the details of deals like written statements are. Where people are increasingly using electronic gadgets for keeping their personal records, their use should be encouraged in government related matters as well. There is a distinction between the records that can be kept as video recordings and those that require written mediums. Judicious use of technological advancements is increasingly being done to lighten the burden of written records’ keeping. Nonetheless, written records are here to stay till a fool-proof method is sought.