Privacy no longer exists, there is always someone watching to see what you are doing next. We are now part of the 1984 world once featured in a book by George Orwell. I remember my first encouter with this book was some time in the early sixties, although it was already published in 1949.Then it all seemed so far away. Then 1984 arrived, a year featured in a book and we were all laughing – nothing became true, just a good book with good ideas.
“Big brother is watching you”? Forget it. Countries still had their own independent governments and if you were lucky your government was letting you live and let live. It made no difference what your belief or colour was, you could carry on as usual. But wait there was something new approaching. The computer had arrived and we were all happy to be part of this wonderful new system. It made work easier, our kids loved it and we even had so-called social sites. We were now someone, we could tell everyone how our day had progressed, what we had for dinner, where we were going for a holiday. There was an audience ready to congratulate you if you passed an examination or a driving test. You had met the man of your life, so tell everyone about it, and you were getting married.
Perhaps you were not so happy, someone was annoying you on this social site with nasty remarks – no problem, just delete them, unfriend them. Your husband might not be treating you as he should, deceiving you. Tell everyone about it on the computer social site, and with photos to illustrate it all.
One day someone discovers that the photos you are showing on your private space on the computer for all to see, as no longer private. Rumours are arriving that your social site is keeping these photos in their own vault to be used for advertising purpose. Of course you are annoyed, but if you delete your site you delete all your followers and messages and what do you want to do all day? You will also lose contact with those lost relations and schoolfriends you had found again. Life becomes boring. There are cases of mobbing, of stalking, and all the time this is happening Big Brother is watching. Nothing more is private, there are no secrets. And you tell me 1984 never happened.
To put a positive side to this, Today thousands of woman are marching in various places all over the world as a universal protest. America has a new president and he is closing down anything that does not agree with his ideas – have we been there before in another time and another country? I am proud of these marches and I wish the ladies all the success they deserve. They are marching for me, for many of us. There were demonstrations in Turkey this week and the police were a little astonished, because the demonstrations were silent. People just stood in the main square and said nothing, did not protest.
Perhaps social media has its positive side. An online friend of mine in the States has travelled from Ohio to Washington today. The closing words of her posting on Facebook are “May today, not yesterday, be the start of something new” and we can only hope that this is the case.