How often we become, or create, the very things we fear. This is the thought that came into my mind recently regarding the surveillance state. I have long heard people talk about “big brother” increasingly invading our privacy and how we are living in times reminiscent of the book 1984. While I do fear intrusive overreach, what I find intriguing is that the surveillance state we fear is not the product of the government. So, if the G-Men are not the ones acting as “big brother,” then who is? There are, of course, the obvious culprits in the tech industry. However, there are also those that are less obvious. In particular, I am thinking about those people who are obsessed with filming things on cell phones. I am repeatedly amazed at how so many scandalous moments on the news come as the result of a cell phone recording. It’s as if we are under constant surveillance. And, sadly, this might not be too far from the truth. But it is not the government, it is us, just as the old saying goes, “We have seen the enemy, and he is us.”
This is not to say that video recording is a bad thing. Indeed, security cameras and vigilant citizens have captured video of criminals and their crimes in a way that allows law enforcement to act swiftly. At the same time, it can also help to sort out truth from fiction in those moments where two or more sides cannot agree on what was said or done.
No, the whole point of this rambling post is not to condemn video, but to point out that in some instances (and perhaps many) the very things we dread are our own creation.