When Truth becomes stranger than Fiction

I first read George Orwell‘s futuristic novel “Nineteen Eighty Four” when I was all of fourteen. At that age, 1984 seemed as far away as his idea that Big Brother was watching. I honestly thought that the world would end in 1999 ( when I was 14) and couldn’t bring myself to say 2000 or even 2001.

The whole concept of a world with strict supervision, with structures so rigid seemed so weird especially in the days of free love and Flower Power. The drab world of George Orwell and that other prophet of doom Ayn Rand seemed improbable in the bright psychedelic world of the ’60s.

But today I find this is ironically true. There is a Big Brother following our every move. There is a Cyber Power that knows our every detail right down to the size of our underwear and the toothpaste we are currently using.

With governments getting increasingly paranoid and insisting on fingerprinting, iris mapping and god alone knows what to keep track of people there is a very fine line between privacy and public property. Facebook, Peekyou, Linkd In and many other social networking sites make it hard to keep one’s movements and identity a secret.

It is amazing how many dirty secrets are uncovered by simply typing in a name. For instance today when I typed in a name, I was shocked to find out the different addresses where the person was purported to have resided.And to imagine that for years I had assumed she was staying at the place I was sending her mail to! Obviously she was leading me a merry dance, keeping me happy in my ignorance, leading her own secret life while I imagined her to be lonely and struggling, working hard in an alien land.

But Big Brother has its advantages in a way:   with social networks invading private space and the knowledge that nothing can be kept secret anymore may just promote a certain level of honesty and ethical behaviour.

Yet on the other hand, it may make people even more devious and cunning.

Big Brother will have to watch and see……….


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Author: Bellybytes

Proud Mumbai gal who always sees the humour in life. The mum who made banana fritters when all the other mums made cupcakes.

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