The Horror of Surveillance

“Study after study has shown that human behaviour changes when we know we’re being watched.

Under observation, we act less free, which means we effectively are less free.”

Scopophobia- the fear of being watched.

You open your eyes and voluntarily inaugurate your digital tracking device; sending out regular status updates on privately monitored and highly regulated ‘social’ forums. The first of many for the day.

You pretend that you have a choice.

As public domain continues to be regularly policed by CCTV cameras, motion detectors, sensors and wandering eyes; the promise of anonymity and privacy is simply a thing of the past. You simply cannot walk out of your house with the full assurance that you aren’t being watched.

We pretend that we have a choice, as we switch between the same social media platforms in an endless loop. Instagram, then Twitter, then Facebook, then Snapchat, then Twitter, then Instagram.

Then, then, then.

We pretend that we can disconnect any time we want to. That being handcuffed to our mobile tracking devices is a choice. We even advocate for other’s freedom while sitting in our own prisoner cells.

Whether or not you truly value the feeling of being completely and decidedly ‘alone,’ I’m sure we can all agree that as we continue to evolve as a society, our definition of ‘privacy’ has evolved and is in a sense moving backwards.

I’m not just talking about the evolution of digital technology. I’m talking about the fact that at any given point in your day, it’s unequivocally abnormal not to send at least one social media update about the thrilling happenings of your day-to-day life.

Were you just about to eat lunch without posting an Instagram story? You should know better.

If I don’t send a Snapchat of a sunset or something on a daily basis, people feel the need to call and check in on me.

You can be trying on clothes in a department store with absolutely no idea if you’re being watched through a double-sided mirror.

You can be at an AirBNB with absolutely no idea if the owner comes in at night and watches you, or if they even have cameras watching you.

How can you be certain that your phone’s camera isn’t always on, secretly recording everything you do- every sound you make, every message you send, every video you watch?

You can be at home with the curtains open with absolutely no idea if one of your neighbours is watching you with binoculars.

Actually, who even need binoculars anymore? Your’s phone camera’s zoom option- the modern day spy equipment.

At any given point, a recording of you doing something as simple as living your day-to-day life could be use against you and can significantly impact your personal, professional and social life.

The worst part about it isn’t that you can’t do anything to stop it. It’s that you don’t even know when it’s happening.

How can you be certain that as you read these very words, there isn’t someone looking right back at you?

Scopophobia- the fear of being watched. I wonder what it’s called when you already know they’re watching but you can’t do anything about it?

Everyone wants fame; but fame means people are watching.

“There is nothing like the thrill of walking through the jungle looking for a tiger and knowing they could be watching you already.”


Until Next Time.

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