When I was a kid there was this very funny television show called Candid Camera and at that time it was not the “norm” to be constantly watched. The show put unsuspecting people in funny, difficult, or strange situations to see how they would react and at some point someone would come out and say: “Smile – you’re on Candid Camera.”

Today however, we are being watched all the time and it is not for a television show and for some it’s not so funny.

Over the years there have been many personal experiences and shared events relayed in news reports that remind us that we are constantly being observed. The fact is that surveillance cameras are now ubiquitous. Conclusions about surveillance are the subject of many books and films. For example in 1949 George Orwell’s book Nineteen Eighty-Four or 1984 brought us the phrase “Big Brother is watching you” and with the regular use of the word “terrorism” most of us have welcomed the constant surveillance as a necessity for our safety.

Surveillance Camera

Big Brother Watching

I come from a time where GPS was not an everyday term and if someone explained it to me I would have assumed it was only used by the military or for airlines or something like that. Now, I’m happy to have it on my phone in case I’m stranded under an avalanche and need to be found – even though I don’t ski.

Jason Bourne knew where the cameras were and how to avoid them.  This begs the question – why would you want to avoid them?  Issues of privacy? Or, for nefarious deeds?

I can’t say I have a strong opinion for or against it – it’s just how it is – and I like to think about how things are. What I can say is that I am constantly aware of it, aware of how unusual it was to watch films where people were regularly asked for their “papers” and now see my own life in the same way. Although we call it “showing your ID” which is so innocuous, it is now required for most business appointments. Have you noticed?