There has been a great deal of flack over the "hacked" intimate photos from celebrity smartphones lately, and it's gotten me thinking.
First of all, in this day and age does ANYONE, celebrity or otherwise, consider their smartphone a safe place for ANY information?
With the way phones may automatically link data to Facebook, Twitter or e-mail, it isn't inconceivable for all pictures on a cell phone to accidentally upload to your FB page or be sent out by e-mail, is it?
14-year-olds understand this premise. The smart ones know that ANYTHING that is in a digital format is not only around forever, but it can be sent to anyone in the world with access to technology.
Kids know that any phone can be hacked, any Facebook picture can be tagged, and anything you don't want your parents to see can be forwarded to them in an instant.
Kids get it.
So why is it so hard for we adults to understand: If it's on an electronic device that has access to the Internet, it is evidence and it is around FOREVER.
We all remember the era of the "sex tape leak" that caused the name "Kardashian" to become famous around the world.
We remember Paris Hilton's green-hued, shot in the dark video that left nothing to the imagination.
Heck, even Pam Anderson and Tommy Lee went to court to fight for the right to profit from their then-leaked honeymoon video.
Ten years ago (a lifetime in the Internet world) the sex tape was an ancillary marketing tool. Paris Hilton was famous for being famous, and Kim Kardashian was at first famous for being her friend. It took an embarrassing, "ooops" "leak" of her own tape to land her on every tabloid cover in the country and she quickly parlayed this into the Kardashian empire.
As for the recent onslaught of nude photos, there is little doubt that "High School Musical" star Vanessa Hudgens did NOT intend for her scantily clad love-notes to boyfriend Zac Efron be made public. Especially when Hudgens' squeaky clean image was her meal ticket.
I'm also pretty sure Miley Cyrus didn't want videos of her smoking "something" to be leaked either. Especially considering she was underage at the time.
Not a lot of upside for either of them.
But in other recent cases Christina Hendricks' rep told the website TMZ.com that, well yes, her phone was hacked and photos were stolen, but that the bare bosom that appeared on the web wasn't her. Hmmmm.... Olivia Munn, said the same thing -- it wasn't me.
"Glee" star Heather Morris, laughed when her photos were made public and, according to US Weekly said, "Well, it could be worse! At least I look good." This was her second episode of leaked photos and she scoffed at the notion that it would hurt her career.
And, you know what they say in show business: It doesn't matter what they are saying, as long as they are talking about you.
Let's face it, we live in a world where sexual notoriety is the fast track to fame and fortune. So, I guess the real question here is: Are these celebrities less socially adept and savvy than a 14-year-old OR are they doing it on purpose?
I suspect it's a little of both.
And, by the way, what’s up with these celebrities taking nude pictures of themselves, anyway? We're talking not once, twice or even three times but hundreds of times.
Simply put, celebrities are some of the most insecure people on the planet. And if they can’t get enough validation from their fans then what could be easier than taking a picture for a little self-validation that says, “Yes, I’m still hot”?
But, up and coming celebs should consider this: Part of celebrity is the mystique of being unattainable to the general public. Twitter and Facebook have blurred that boundary immensely.
Young Hollywood would be wise to remember that a little discretion goes a long way, and those celebrities whose careers last the longest are usually the ones that keep their clothes on in public, and protect their privacy.
Dr. Dale Archer is a clinical psychiatrist and author of the just released new book "Better Than Normal: How What Makes You Different Can Make You Exceptional." Visit his website: DrDaleArcher.com/Tell me your story, I think I can help. Follow him on Twitter: @DrDaleArcher. And join him on Facebook.