Sunday, January 11, 2009

Are we Big Brother?

I know that I am not the first person to expound on this idea, but lately it has been evident to me that we (meaning the people) are Big Brother as much as they (meaning the government) is. What really made me think this was a recent story I heard about Oscar Grant, an unarmed man who was shot at point blank range by police in California on New Year’s Day. At least five different people apparently videoed the event with their cell phone and posted the clip on YouTube where it was viewed hundreds of thousands of times. Riots broke out because of this. I’m not saying that the event should not have been videod. But it made me think, we are actually part of the system that “watches”.

Then I began to think about Facebook. I just recently got lured into FB because some pictures were posted of Jim, my Tour of Hope teammate and brother. At the top of your homepage, it asks what are you doing now? I joked with a friend about this. Well, obviously you're at the computer if you can respond to that question. And she responded that she loves to read when someone enters “playing with my kid” because you know they aren’t really playing with their kid. They are on FB. Anyway, it became apparent to me that this is another way that we become part of the system of tracking. Don’t get me wrong, I want know when my friend halfway across the country is stopping by starbucks to get a cup of joe just as much as you.

Then of course, we have the ever-popular blog. Where we all like to share a little piece of our world with the…well, the world. I have several that I check out regularly, and ummm, obviously I felt compelled to start this one myself. But again, even though we can edit the parts we don’t want to share, we basically share our lives with complete strangers. Actually, it may be worse if you know the person whose blog you read because then you feel like you are spying on your friends or you feel like a pathetic friend because you don’t make the time to find out what’s going on in their life by calling or visiting them.

Maybe we unconsciously want Big Brother to be reality. Maybe we want the security of knowing that nothing is secret.

“Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live.”-Chamfort

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