Just for Fun

I Always Feel like Somebody’s Watching Me: Is it a Tragedy?

SomebodysWatchingMe

In 1984 Rockwell recorded the hit  “Somebody’s Watching me”.   This 1984 catchy tune reminds me that ‘somebody’ is always watching, and ‘somebody’ has always been watching. If you don’t remember this 80’s song click on the image above while you are reading this blog post on the state of privacy and security in a social media world.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is Privacy? – How do you define it and protect it?
  • Does it exist today?
  • Is there some sense of relief  to have ‘somebody’ watching?

For each of us we must answer these questions as individuals, and chose our digital decisions wisely. The reality is someone is watching and they always have been.

Meme

Liberty Memes: Shared via Amanda Baker

What Is Privacy?– In the global economy that we live in today should there be privacy?  I feel a little sense of relief that ‘somebody’ is watching, but I also know that comes with consequences. I am relieved to  find out we  catch the bad guy before their plans have been executed and people harmed because ‘somebody’ is watching. I am also of the belief that I should not need to know who that ‘somebody’ is nor do I think ‘they’ should always share ‘their’ knowledge with the masses.  I do not think  it’s a good idea ‘we’ know how the latest scam, threat, or plot was to be executed. It plants fear and provides ideas for some that should be focused on better things to do.  If you are doing no harm and your intentions are for good is there a need for privacy? Has privacy ever existed?

Today ‘Data’ drives decisions. It is collected, analyzed, stored, and manipulated. It is used to slice and dice information into pretty pretty pie charts and trend-lines for analysis. Without someone ‘watching’ and collecting the ‘data’ the creation of the pie charts and trend-lines would not be possible. I often find myself in meeting after meeting mulling over these pie charts and trend-lines that have been collected over time. I ask myself WWMD <What would my dad do?>. My father was a very successful business man long before BI tools and pretty pretty digitized pie charts existed. Then I remember the late nights he would be up mulling over the graph paper, scientific rulers/calculators, white boards, and scratch paper.  The reality is he did collect, store, and manipulate data in order to make business decisions. It was just a longer process for him to get the data. Was that a bad thing? That it took longer to analyze the results? The time it took him to gather and write down the data gave him time to think out and plan his next business move. Today, people are quick to believe in the validity of the data  displayed in one click on the pretty pie charts and trend-lines and make knee jerk decisions that often have devastating results. They often don’t think they simply react.  The amount of data is overwhelming and the time for making decisions shorter.

Does it exist today? – It always freaks me out a little bit that I use a google search to research a product or trend and suddenly my social media feeds and emails are flooded with advertisements about my searches. Does that make me uncomfortable? Well I know that an algorithm is being used on the back end to track my searches not a human. I know that I leave a trail everywhere I go.  I also know that companies have paid for SEO optimization with google to show up at the top of my feeds and try to influence my purchase decisions. Listen nothing happens by magic. Nothing. If you see this little icon in your searches Ad. You were tracked, analyzed, and suggestions provided.  Is that bad? Well I don’t know have you had any great products come up you researched that are not on your store shelf?

My  mother is petrified to use Facebook.  She actually refuses to set up an account. Yet  after watching the TLC show “Who do you think you are” she is more then willing to get her DNA tested at home, mail it in, and post it to a national public database to research her family roots. My mother’s  family tree research project has been worked on for two generations. They have visited many courtrooms and churches both here and in our family’s mother country. I think she thinks she will have all the answers she is seeking in a .32 stamp, wrapped cue tip,  and a click.

Did you know that the Mormon church baptizes you after death no matter what your religion? They have been performing these baptisms since the 1840’s. The records the Mormon church have accumulated include census records, church registers, and vital records from across the globe. Somebody is and always has been watching.

Is there some sense of relief  to have ‘somebody’ watching?

When I was a child playing freely outside or roaming the neighborhood somebody was always watching. I swear to you my mother’s bridge group knew our actions/intentions before we even thought up the idea. It was creepy to us kids at the time. We figured they were psychic. Perhaps they were.  I know this that bridge group was the best hackers and decoders of young teenagers  in our neck of the woods! If my mom’s bridge group was not watching then  God was and so were all of my relatives that had gone up to heaven.  ‘Someone’ was always watching and judging. I was also taught that not everyone has the best of intentions and you should trust your gutt. If it is too good to be true.. it is .. if it does not feel right it is not. If they do not look you in the eyes they are hiding something.

Final Thoughts

I have never seen google in the eyes… Have you? It does seem too good to be true when you can say a portion of a song into your smartphone and a voice comes back with the year, the artists name, and would you like to hear a sample? For this blog post I remembered the song and tune for  Somebody’s Watching me but in one click I found the artist, the year, and that Michael and Jermaine Jackson were the back up singers for this Motown hit. I knew I had heard that voice before!

‘Somebody’ will always be watching you… the fact is ‘somebody’ has always been watching you. Take care of yourself . Build your strength thru interactions. Educate yourself on new technologies. Do no harm intentionally. There will be mistakes made and lessons learned. That has been human nature for centuries. After all I have no idea how to use a scientific ruler and my dad knew nothing about the Oregon trail game. I spent endless hours on Oregon Trail trying to figure out how to stop diphtheria. Today,  I know nothing about the Pokemon craze my eight year old is way too into ,  but I can create a pie chart or a trend line in a click! Data will continue to grow. It will continue to be analyzed and reported. The definition of privacy will continue to change and our toleration for exposing ourselves will also morph as technology makes changes to how we store and use data.

Think about this..

  • 20 years ago you might not have had a credit card. You dealt with cash and checks. When Credit cards were introduced they were marketed as more secure and convenient then checks. When they came out you only received a statement once a month. As you used your credit card more and more it became more vulnerable.  Technology adapted. You can now check your  credit card at anytime, receive alerts on purchases, and attempt to stop fraud the second it occurs. What will happen next? Some say you will soon pay for things from a scan of your iris. But just remember just like your credit card numbers are most definitely out there if this prediction is true  so will be the definition of  your iris.  I wonder if a database of iris’s will help our family tree project?

Leave your comments below to our questions asked:

  • What is Privacy? – How do you define it and protect it?
  • Does it exist today?
  • Is there some sense of relief  to have ‘somebody’ watching?

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s