The Great and The Terrible

man_curtain2 Ah, the internet; the ethereal monument to mankind and womankind’s genius, exposing for all to see, our greatest achievements and our most monumental failures.  The ‘net connects us to all points on this earth and beyond.  We talk online, we do business online, we hold our meetings online, we stay connected to our loved ones, far away, online; we practice our right to free speech online.  We pay our bills online, shop and bank, online.

Some air their dirty laundry online, others post their sexual prowess online; others feel the need to capture their faces in some bizarre fish or duck mimicry, otherwise known as a “selfie”.  Then there are the boobie pics, the butt pics, the dingleberry pics and the infamous People of Wal-Mart pics.  I’ve even seen photos of co-workers uploaded with doobs hanging out of their faces or drunk as lords on mini-clips and while what you do on your own time may be your business, you are a total idiot if you think that this doesn’t impact your reputation or how others view you as a professional or a human being, for that matter.

The internet is so huge, so incredibly powerful that the majority of people, quite obviously, are not able to wrap their heads around the implications and ramifications of a life “online.”

Once you hit enter or send, what goes out there becomes public property whether you like it or not and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.  Post a booty shot?  Hope you don’t mind your boss seeing it.  Or your S.O’s mother or grandmother.  Posting yet another selfie?  Give it a rest, nobody but you, is interested.  However, if you are attempting to send out a message to the world “Hey, look at me!  I need the attention because I am incredibly insecure and truth to tell, a prat of the first order!”, then by all means, go ahead, post yet another picture of yourself. 

We are all wired in; we are uploaded and downloaded on a daily basis.  We used to complain about just being numbers in the big corporate and political arena, now?  We aren’t even that.  Our entire lives can be fit onto something smaller than the head of a pin – our entire being, our personal history, who we ARE as people is now less than insignificant.  We don’t even rank as infinitesimal.

We are tracked constantly; if someone wants to find us, it is easily done.  If the government wants to monitor your movements, they can have your entire life journey by their first morning break.  You can be found, your actions watched and filmed for future use, at any time.

Consider, just for a second, your worst enemy, your boss, your teacher, your parish priest, rabbi or imam, perhaps your mother, father or youngest sibling reading, viewing your online offering.

And I don’t even want to touch those poor excuses for human beings, the ones who tape violence, accidents, crimes in progress and do nothing but my, my, aren’t those clips uploaded to YouTube in nanoseconds.  I hate thinking that these creatures are from the same species as my kith and my kin.

Is there a point to all this?  Yes, there is and it is a terrifying point to any thinking man, woman or child.  Recently, in Ukraine, the government send out mass texts to everyone with a cell phone, involved in the anti-government protests, advising them that the government was aware of their activities.

Consider the ramifications of this; consider protesting as is your democratic right in the Western world and having your name noted, the t’s crossed and I’s dotted.  This terrifies me as a member of a free society and offers credence to the conspiracy theorists out there.  Big Brother is, it seems, watching us.  Personal privacy.  Was it ever a reality or again, just something fed to us to keep us quiet?  I am afraid it is the latter.  No.  I know it is the latter.

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