“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Big Brother Is Alive and Well

The other evening, I was relaxing with my significant other, after a very busy weekend, idly leafing through the paper. When my attention was caught by a headline on the front of the Weekend section (we buy one paper on a Saturday, and it lasts us all week). It read: "Teenwatch: How to spy on your children."

The article, which I read with mounting horror, explained about new technology that parents can use, to "keep kids under surveillance 24/7", including software that can monitor their online lives, including monitoring and reading calls and texts and e-mails, looking at their browsing history online, hidden CCTV cameras around the house (even in the teenagers' bedrooms - ewww!), electronic wristbands that they have to wear when they are out of the house in the evening (like tagging prisoners) and an app called Ignore No More, which "disables their phones remotely if they do not answer me." There is even a device marketed by Teenwatch, which you attach to your teenager's car, and can monitor if he/she brakes sharply or swerves. (I've checked on Google, and these apps are Real!)

Oh. My. God. Even Orwell could not have dreamt this stuff up. What in God's name is going on? I shared some of the article with my husband, and he was as shocked and horrified as I am. I mean, what the blimmin' heck happened to respect for privacy? To trust? Do these parents *really* not realise that all they are doing is making their children hate them, and wish to deceive them? If we had ever tried any of this on our two (not that I would ever have dreamed of it) I am *sure* they would have left home / tried every way possible to get round the devices (for example, by buying a cheap pay-as-you-go mobile for use, and not sharing the number).

Or if the children are accepting this, because they too have bought into the lie that we live in a terrifying world in which nobody can be trusted, then that is even worse. I tremble for the future, if this is what it is going to look like ...

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