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.