Three ladies had a look of exhaustion on their face after trekking up three flights of stairs of the New York building I was renting an apartment in. They were looking hot, with dresses fitting tight as if they were painted directly onto their skin. “One more to go”, exclaimed a disheveled man trailing them, slowly coming into my view. Men in New York usually have two extremely varying styles: dressy financial district or hipster thrift store. He was sporting the former, carrying with him a medium sized brown paper bag with bottles of alcohol. I could faintly hear music bumping. The neighbors upstairs must be having a party.
I stayed extremely still to prevent noises from the squeaky decrepit wooden floors in my apartment. I didn’t want them to know I was watching through the peephole. My eyes, remaining motionless, so that they wouldn’t cause light to refract through the lens, giving me away.
I don’t stand by the door watching people go up and down the stairs all day. I just get curious once in a while. Isn’t someone always peeping though? If it isn’t me, it’ll be someone else. That’s the culture of the country we live in. We love watching other people. Reality TV, TMZ and the News are all based on entertaining us by covering other people’s lives.
Every television channel has a show with Americans psychotically competing for your love. They’re singing, cooking, dancing, dating, proposing, eating Madagascar cockroaches, designing clothes, modeling, building choppers, pimping rides, trading spouses, and self destructing on the Jersey Shore. You can jump online and even more voyeuristic opportunities are available. YouTube itself has over 6 billion hours of video. Even if you get bored after all that, you can check out websites like EarthCam that let you watch live cams in different parts of the world. Texas Border Watch had cameras allowing the public to monitor the border in case a Mexican tried to cross over.
Even if you’re not watching others, you’re definitely being watched. Unless you’re stranded on a remote island with nothing but a volleyball, you’re on hundreds of cameras daily. Cameras in your building, at traffic lights, the bank, the deli, your office, everywhere! All you have to do is look up and count the plethora of devices that are recording your every move. I have three cameras sitting right in front of me: iPhone, iPad and laptop.
There are even drones flying above us right now just collecting data, and we are just at the beginning. You didn’t think that drones were just built to spy on foreign countries did you?
Eventually all these video streams will all be delivered to a central system and every person will be uniquely detected through facial recognition and body movements. Facebook already detects you in a picture.
People say they feel safer with all the cameras around, with organizations like the NSA tapping into our data, “If you’re not doing anything wrong, why are you so worried?” That argument works now, but laws are mendable. Tomorrow the elite can create a law that makes you a criminal, and enforce it heavily through these channels, with no ability to protest. Imagine if they enacted repressive legislation, like criminalizing the use of Marijuana. Oh, they already have that, and in a world with such information gathering, incarceration rates would sky rocket…..or you would just be subservient to the ones that have their hands tightly clasped onto your nut sack.
The three ladies and one gent continued their climb and eventually disappeared out my view. I know that we won’t stop watching, the collection of information won’t end, and in reality nothing is private anymore. The question is not whether this will occur, but how we the peephole will demand the data being used or not used for that matter. What will we do?