WE ARE BIG BROTHER
The future does not look bright: a dystopia is inevitably imminent. Worst of all, it is going to be our own creation. Mankind’s existing culture of “self-surveillance” is the biggest contributing factor to the dystopia’s development. Our oppressors, the state and major corporations, are quickly merging into one. However, in actuality, we are the ones we have to fear the most; we are “Big Brother.” Governments and companies only collect data based on what we willingly constantly provide, such as our devices’ location-tracking services, our daily (potentially intimate) photo uploads to social media, and ceaseless messengers-based communication that jeopardizes everybody close to us.
Governments have absolute awareness of our lives – a terrifying indicator that Orwell’s dystopia is upon us. Presently, countries like China have already become surveillance states, using artificial-intelligence-based technologies for tracking purposes, e.g. ubiquitous cameras and the social credit system. Software like this, which is theoretically accessible to any government, is so incredibly advanced that it can know people better than they know themselves. For example, programs can even effortlessly determine an individual’s sexual orientation. Such pin-point accuracy scarily hints at the prospect of not just our actions being monitored, but our very thoughts too.
Not only do we supply the corporate state with limitless personal data upstream, we are practically force-fed a sea of information streamed directly to our gadgets. Our daily hours spent on technology, feeding tracking algorithms and programs, come with potentially lethal consequences. We are bombarded by information in the forms of mostly unlimited entertainment and advertisement. According to studies, we suffer from information overload, consuming 30 gigabytes daily(200 times more than our great-grandparents!) which has led to massive attention deficit. Even a goldfish’s attention span (6 seconds) is greater than ours (5 seconds)! In an attempt to keep up with all this information, modern people often resort to multitasking, a seemingly logical decision. However, multitasking is not only less productive than “singletasking”, it also causes potentially permanent cognitive impairment.
Liberty is our greatest privilege, and time is our most sacred, non-replenishable resource. Both are the gifts of life and should not be squandered, especially not because of our beloved gadgets. Technology is with us everywhere we go. Our life is unimaginable without it. And because of it, we have given total access to our lives to the oppressors: the government and corporations, which are soon to be one and the same. To achieve the goal of living our lives the way we see fit, we must unplug first.