Rebecca Johnson: Your Life as Reality Show

With no edit or delete button to erase your bad attitude, hit pause before you behave rudely to a late patient.


Published in the March/April 2014 issue

Between Facebook, YouTube and other social media, we seem to broadcast much of our lives online. But what if that were really true? Imagine getting a video link in your email tomorrow morning. You click on the link and realize that your past 24 hours have been recorded and posted on YouTube (and — egads — the video was copied to everyone in your address book). Just as you begin to hyperventilate, you see EDIT and DELETE buttons. Relieved, you begin to edit your day.

Uh-oh. Look at you giving a special salute to that man moving too slow on the interstate. DELETE. (You would just die if your mother saw this!) Late for work again. EDIT. (Turn the clock back 10 minutes.)

Mrs. Jacobs comes in for her glaucoma check. You know her husband recently died after a long illness, but you avoid her because she talks too much and you just don’t have time to listen. DELETE. (It only takes a minute to share a few caring words.)

You act rude to the patient who showed up late for his appointment. EDIT. (Smile and understand that sometimes things come up that make you late, too. Remember this morning?)

You sell two pairs of glasses to three customers who usually buy just one. Keep! (You really are good at your job.)

Finally home! An hour later, dinner is ready and your family compliments you on the delicious lasagna. Keep. (Everyone should know that you are a great cook.)

But then Jacob spills his milk and looks sad as you complain that he always has to ruin everything and you can’t even sit down to a relaxing meal. DELETE. (Next time, you hand him a rag and go about enjoying your dinner.)

You are starring in your own reality show that’s being “broadcast” every day to your spouse, children, neighbors, co-workers, boss and even complete strangers — and in real life, we don’t get EDIT and DELETE buttons. What would you do differently today if you knew your life would be broadcast on YouTube or A&E tomorrow?

REBECCA JOHNSON is a 30-year veteran in the eyecare business. She is the executive director of Business Consultative Services for GPN and owner of EyeTrain4You, an ophthalmic staff training and development company. Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.