The Death of Privacy
When I tried to explain to my grandchildren that as I was growing up, black-and-white television was the norm, they simply could not believe it. After all, they live in a world of high definition.
We, of a certain age, have witnessed so much change in the last few years that it is difficult to explain it all to a younger generation. For one thing, I really don’t know how we lived before ATMs, but somehow we did. We all remember a time when we had to go to our own branch to get money. Amazingly today we can access our bank accounts from basically anywhere in the world.
It is difficult to imagine a time when personal computers and the Internet were unheard of. And not so long ago the idea of today’s wireless technology belonged to the realm of sci-fi. We’ve come a long way, baby.
When I got my first computer, it took me a long time to learn how to make the most of it. And I’m still trying to do just that with newer versions! On the other hand, computers are second nature to our children and grandchildren.
If you spend enough time surfing the Internet, there is no information you can’t find. It can be very useful and helpful. But the Internet is also a huge trash dumpster for everything from pornography to fake news. I don’t think we should be ashamed to discuss the less-than-perfect aspects of technology with our impressionable grandchildren because you never know on what site they might end up.
Many years ago I saw a man walking down the street in Hong Kong while talking on a mobile phone. Of course, it was a huge unit compared to today’s models, but I was witnessing history in the making. When I returned home and tried to explain to those around me that wireless telephones were a reality in Asia, albeit not yet in widespread use, people didn’t believe me. How things have changed!
Today, cell phones can do so many things, not the least of which is take pictures. For a techno-deficient person like myself who still believes that phones are for talking, I see cameras on phones as dangerous because they show us that privacy is becoming a thing of the past. You could be anywhere talking to someone while another person is taking your picture, taping your conversation and posting it all online for the world to see.
With all the technology which keeps on marching at a mind-dizzying pace, the future of privacy is looming ever less assured in the 21st century, and I think it should worry all of us. Not only is Big Brother watching, but so is our neighbor, our colleague, our competitor.
I don’t think I’d like to go back to the time of black-and-white television, but since nothing is ever perfect in this world, we should all pay a lot more attention to what is being loss through the advent of greater and greater technology in order to make sure the slope does not get more slippery.
Once privacy is lost, it will be almost impossible to recover.