To paraphrase a quote from comedian and chief ‘Nerdist‘ Chris Hardwick in reference to the Orwellian novel 1984, Big Brother does in fact exist, but instead of it solely being an ominous government entity, it is all of us constantly monitoring and linking our real lives, with our online identities. Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, are just a few of the most popular platforms through which we connect with friends, strangers, and most of the time, people that we normally would never make direct contact with outside the digital world. The double edged sword is that while you can post that which you want others to see or hear (sadly can’t smell yet) about you, that power lays also with everyone else.
Cyber bullying, internet shaming, private conversations being shared with the world are all not-so-great results of the infinite interconnections online that now effect our lives. The list of examples range from teenagers having to change schools because of bullying, to celebrities very private photos becoming very public photos, to presidential candidates being exposed for past transgressions (not like that’s really a new thing thought).
Now it’s not to go unsaid that certain US government agencies such as the National Security Agency (NSA) aren’t also a part of the digital surveillance landscape. Back in February of this year, WikiLeaks released information that the NSA had been illegally surveying other governments in addition to citizens of the United States, and are currently developing standards for digital surveillance all the time; more at WikiLeaks.
So what does this all truly mean for us? Technology is more than a necessity to most, and is even a means of living for those working within the realms of the ever growing digital world. Time will tell where we are headed. But the landscape is a broad one, open to as many possibilities as there are fake user accounts spread across the catfish ridden sea we call the internet.