In our 21st century digital panopticon, it can seem like every moment of our lives is being recorded on video. The constant presence of recording devices can make it hard to spot the telltale warning signs that your date is in danger of becoming, or may already have become, a found footage movie. Be alert to these signs. It might just save your life.
You and your date are at a totally normal party where a guy is recording with a video camera and all your attractive friends keep laughing and acknowledging the camera before introducing their quirky personal traits.
A clown ghost spooks out of nowhere and is eating your bones in a bad way.
Your date uses FaceTime even once to talk to somebody.
Your date mentions a "vlog" or "video blog" and has to use her laptop webcam to talk dismissively about urban legends.
Your date records short video journal entries and uploads them throughout the night without ever complaining about "haters" saying nasty things in the comments section of her videos.
You go into a darkened house or abandoned area and your date uses the low light feature on a video camera even though it is not 2003.
Your date keeps suggesting you help with a student film that is not somehow related to gender.
You or your date talks directly into a camera about anything other than video games.
You are a native of New York City and the Statue of Liberty is visible from where you and your date are standing.
Police or soldiers angrily ask you or your date to stop filming even though you are a sovereign citizen and you do not have to give them your real name or any sort of fascistic "license."
The person you are on a date with suggests climbing even one fence with a mysterious warning sign about "Evil Bone Zone" or "Russian Experiment Lab."
You bring up the subject of viral videos and your date does not immediately start texting with her more interesting friends.
Whenever your date drops her camera, like toast always lands jelly side down, the camera always lands with the lens pointed at ropy humanoid bastards scuttling around dark hallways.
You or your date discover a cardboard box full of mysterious video tapes and your first instinct is to find a way to play them rather than throw them in the garbage where they belong.
If you get lucky, your date wants to record the sex in such a way that nothing explicit is recorded, but the camera perfectly frames her awesome breasts for most of the footage.
Something shocking happens and your date is filming events on her phone in the correct landscape mode.
After a harrowing experience you find yourself saying into the camera "It will be alright" or something else comforting without bothering to check that there isn't a giant monster hand or Russian lab mongoloid or ghost clown reaching out to grab you.
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
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