When I was in high school, our literature class was assigned George Orwell’s novel, 1984. We also read Animal Farm, but it was 1984 that made the biggest impression on me.
For one thing, this was 1963-ish, and 1984 seemed a millennium away, and I was sure the world would have come to an end by the time the 80s’ rolled around.
The mere idea of Big Brother, thought crimes, and secret surveillance was enough to give any seventeen-year-old… pause… for what their future might hold.
Now on the brink of 2014, I look back on my naiveté’ and realize that maybe we have arrived, in a way, and what Orwell described in his dystopian society isn’t too far off.
With security cameras, Homeland Security, and the NSA everywhere, it looks like we just might be headed that way.
Watching The Jetsons, when I was a kid, was also fodder for a lot of speculation as to what our futures would truly look like. Would I take a pill for each meal, fly to work in a space car, and have the dishes done by a contraption built into the kitchen wall?
Well, some of Orwell’s imaginative writing may not be too far off the mark. Thank God, I don’t have to take a pill instead of enjoying a delicious meal, and dessert or fly to work in a car… I’d probably hit the first building or electrical line I came to. The dishwasher idea…that, I’ve always liked!
I have mixed feeling about all the security devices we now have at our disposal. On one hand, I appreciate the fact that law enforcement is better equipped to catch the pedophile, car-jacker, or predator who lurk in those places which are often very public. But, I also worry that we have become desensitized to such subtle intrusions in our private lives that we may be losing the one thing we Americans value—privacy.
I find myself looking around the ceiling and walls of public restrooms I use, looking for that blinking red light I’ve heard about. Have I become paranoid after watching news magazines where such things do happen. Could I be…paranoid?
And what about our cell phones… they’re not just for calling these days, just ask any adolescent or teenager.
I do love my cell phone though…it is a blessing and a curse. I love it…I hate it!
And what I wouldn’t have given for spell check, and a laptop when I had to do those research papers in high school and college.
So it is with optimism and a touch of trepidation that I look to the New Year, 2014.
It is a wonderful time to be alive, but let us keep a diligent eye on the future, and recognizes the warning signs that could be our undoing.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!
images from internet