Paranoia Paranoia

Paranoia, paranoia
Everybody’s coming to get me
~Song lyrics from Paranoia ~ Green Day

I have a built in webcam on my computer and today, while I was typing, my camera stared at me and I was sure it blinked. That made me think, “What if someone is actually using my webcam to look in on me?” Horrors!

I immediately sat up straighter, brushed back my hair and smiled because if someone was looking, I wanted to look my best. Then I came to my senses and ran for my junk drawer to get a post-it note which I used to cover up my webcam. That will show them.

This got me thinking about privacy and surveillance. Our picture is being taken every day by a wide variety of cameras. Going to the bank? Smile for the camera. Sitting in your car, wink at the traffic cam. Walking in the forest, wave to the satellite circling the earth.

Video cameras are everywhere. Most adults are carrying cell phone cameras in their pocket or purse. Most businesses have cameras in key locations of their store or office. Reminds me of George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. This book, written in 1948, seemed far fetched at the time because who would imagine that some day everyone would be under constant surveillance. Yes, imagine.

The characters in the book had one advantage we do not for they were routinely reminded of this surveillance with the phrase “Big Brother is watching you.” So let me start heightening your awareness. You are on camera when you realize it and when you are blissfully unaware and “Big Brother, Sister, Father, Aunt is watching you.”

Okay, so we are being watched. What to do? Mom always said if you are getting your picture taken you better look nice, which meant applying a fresh coat of lipstick. Guess I will just have to start wearing lipstick so I can mug for all of these cameras.


15 thoughts on “Paranoia Paranoia”

  1. And there’s the comment that we should always wear clean underwear in case we end up in the ER…geez, when can we ever just be ourselves? And I notice that every time I cross the border between the US and Canada, I’m getting my picture taken. I wonder what would happen if I stuck my tongue out at them?

  2. It would be a fun world if everyone mugged for the camera, wouldn’t it? Just constant performances all the time. Nice post! : )

    (slight technicality: I think the song lyric at the top is Harvey Danger, not Green Day)

    1. Thanks for the comment, I will definitely look up Harvey Danger. I got the quote from the Paranoia song lyrics by Green Day “Paranoia, paranoia Everybody’s coming to get me Just say you never met me I’m running underground with the moles Digging in holes.” I will edit my quote at the top of the post to reflect that.

  3. OMG, do I have now have something new to worry about? Is my computer stalking me? Do I have to dress for googling? Kanoodling yes, googling – no. LOL I guess we have to get used to always being under the ever watchful eye of someone. But I am still a fan of privacy. Trust me, you don’t want to see this mug at every stage of the day. Just saying…

  4. And now, with the iphone, there is face time. My daughter commented the other day that I hadn’t washed my hair that day!!! Do I have to now get gussied up in case the phone rings???

  5. I experienced a different kind of “watching” recently. I was signing up for a new financial service, and as one of the verifying questions, I had to identify a street name we lived on 24 years ago. I know financial records go back a long way, but it gave me a shock that instantly, as I was processing an application online, from the bowels of the internet came a street name I had lived on such a long time ago. I don’t have anything to hide, but it freaked me out, just the same.


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