The, Big Brother Is Watching

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The lighthearted phrase, “Big brother is watching” from 1984, is well known amongst most culturally educated adults and teens, but as I’ve become more aware of the joke, more and more people treat the phrase as less of a joke and more of a common unspoken rule. The NSA was discovered in 2013 to be tapping into private phone calls and emails from citizens. Social media sites update their privacy policies regularly, granting themselves more and more rights to the information I presume to be be personal or obsolete to the website. With every camera lens being a direct eye to the government, a window for an unwanted old flame to peer through, and an aperture that could somehow get the image back to one of my teachers or coaches, it’s hard to make the song ‘Watching Me’ by Rockwell (released in 1984, a year when everyone thought the world was literally shrinking in size and the government’s field of vision magnifying) feel as fun and lighthearted as I know it should be. I know at any point someone could record or take a picture of me, a standard my grandmother balks at. She never allows someone to take her picture unless they’re a professional; on websites like Facebook she has the privacy settings turned up so high sometimes I struggle to find her status updates. Her concern for the security of her birthday or pictures of her grandson are extremely guarded in comparison to my own. Comparing myself to my grandmother, I wonder and worry if my own privacy is depleting before my
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