In a recent article in Wired magazine it was pointed out to me that beneath my fingers of this computer I am typing on, there lives a master watchdog. And regardless of my level of personal privacy paranoia there is no denying someone is always watching and listening. I accept the fact that with the release of every post, someone in the world gains a bit more perspective on the way I am thinking. But the idea that you are always online in someone else’s eyes is scary. Knowing a troll is lurking beneath my fingertips, that if properly awakened with words I type publicly or that my non-published ramblings can one day be presented as relevant information is unnerving.
Cutting and pasting be dammed as well. If once typed it is noted, framed, identified, correlated, remembered and available for someone else’s future reference one may soon think an off line computers were more of a godsend than we ever knew! Noting all that, I suddenly realized I am such a terrible speller. What must they think of me!
We all continuously give out information about ourselves that maybe we shouldn’t be so forthwith to provide. In the age of the Internet we all need to realize there is no such thing as privacy. Before you brag at how well you protect yourself and your information, ask what you told the computer the last time you took one of those stupid quizzes on Facebook or from one of those other meat head quiz factories that are constantly presented to you. What century should you have been born in? What Star Wars Character would you have been? Which Game of Thrones character are you? Surprised you innocently told the great quiz maker you like pasta, hate to exercise, enjoy brisk walks and bathe on a regular basis? Personal stuff you would never have divulged to a complete stranger; but you just did!
Duly perceiving that there is an algorithm out there with your personal information churning away in it can be frightening. But there is a way to find out a bit of what they know or think they do? Check out you spam file! After all how can you explain the magazine offers you get? Spam knows you better than you might know yourself. Few know I’m an eighty eight year old German man who lives in a nursing home in Berlin that is incontinent! Ooops!! Here comes the spam for the incontinent pads.
The first person to read my blogs, if it is a person at all, comes to me from Palo Alto, California. No idea who? But a quick Google search of the location tells me two things. It’s either a government agency or Facebook! Hmmm? We can only hope that the information they gain is for the purpose of selling me something. If it is not and they are gathering that information to see if I am a threat to them, then we have all kinds of constitutional issues to deal with. Oops, wait a minute if they are the government, good luck getting that freedom back and if they are not, there are no laws regulating what they can do with information I am willfully putting out there; out there being the internet!
Pulitzer, the great newspaper publisher, would have his newsboys stand on street corners yelling the headlines to sell his papers; the more gruesome headlines the better. People have an ear for bad news and it sells. But in a modern day world of rampant paranoia, fear mongering and servers that can record everything from every phone call you make to the words you write on every twitter, Facebook post and your computer we all have to wonder if we all suddenly feel either very safe or very afraid indeed the next headline might have our name in it!!!!!!!