In the Spotlight
By Bob Branco
George Orwell, in his book Nineteen Eighty–Four, accurately predicted that we would one day be under a watchful eye. Based on the natural order of things, such as more government, the internet, social media, and sophisticated video technology, it’s happening now. Our personal business is more public than ever. Our behavior is closely monitored, and websites such as Google Earth reveal our neighborhoods on a computer screen. With that said, and with more violence going on in the world, do we need to be watched over by technology? I suppose the better question is: Do you feel it’s worth letting the public know our personal business so that we are protected?
First, let’s talk about school. It seems as though every time I turn around, kids are being shot at, teachers are assaulted, and drugs are smuggled into the classroom. This bad trend has encouraged society to consider more video cameras in class. If you had a child in school who was extremely well behaved, knowing what you know about all of this criminal activity, how would you feel about your child’s behavior being publicized?
Perhaps you don’t have a problem with it, because the end result is to detect those people who are misbehaving. Banks have added more video equipment. At the place where I bowl, video equipment was installed in order to monitor activity in certain sections of the bowling facility. Our local bus company has put cameras on some of its vehicles in case a company clerk has to review the footage at the end of the day in order to find a problem that was reported. I have a friend who purchased a video system for his home in order to keep track of his nine–year–old son in case he did something wrong.
So there you have it. Big Brother is here to stay, and we need to deal with him one way or the other. Our lives will never be the same. We can’t even scratch an itch without social media making it a national story. We know much more about the very personal lives of professional athletes and other celebrities than we ever did before. However, this technology does make it easier to find out who shot someone, tossed a chair at a teacher, or caused fights among fellow students.
Our world is under a spotlight, and it’s growing by the day.
(Originally published in Word Matters)