The US is looked as a country that continues to prosper every year compared to other countries. Although we make look like the most prosperous country there is more to us than meets the eye. Compared to other countries we have a lot more freedoms than them but those freedoms come with heavy surveillance and restrictions. Our government is constantly watching our every move sometimes for our protection and sometimes for the fun of it. Some cases of surveillance is used with our cell phones, social media, and hidden cameras.
Our cell phones are probably the most used for surveillance. The very devices we love and trust so much is the main source the government uses to spy on us. Whenever you have that location on everyone can see where you are at that exact moment. Now, whose idea do you think put that option on our phones(School.eb.com, 2018)? Exactly the only people that probably care about where you are in the government and probably your mother. How else would your phone know where you wanna go before you even type it into the GPS. There are many other ways that the government will spy on us.
Another way they spy on us is through our social media. Social media is one of the most used resources in the world today. Millions of people use social media every day so the government has to have a hand in this to keep an eye on possible terrorist threats or any other potential threats or just to be nosy(School.eb.com, 2018). An example of this would be for Snapchat to have GeoFilters wherever you are in the world. In comparison to our use of surveillance today George Orwell paved the way with his book 1984.
In this book the Thought Police use surveillance to spy on their citizens and arrest those that commit thought crimes against Big Brother(George Orwell, New York). They way they use surveillance is only a slight difference. Although the way they carry out their surveillance isn’t so different from our present-day society. Their execution of surveillance inspired our society to take a closer look at its citizens. With this came heavy security camera placements, phones being tapped, and a continuous watch over our every movement.
In George Orwell’s 1984 we visit the life of Winston Smith and his home country of Oceania. Oceania looked as it was a prosperous country and that it would live on for centuries to come on the outside, but on the inside was a different story (George Orwell, New York). We follow Winston as he tells us about this strange group known as The Party and their leader Big Brother. This party rules over Oceania with fear and constant surveillance. The way the used surveillance influenced our society’s way of using surveillance.
The Party used helicopters to spy on people in their homes, on the streets, etc. These helicopters were piloted by the Thought Police (George Orwell, New York). These helicopters would hover over random homes and streets as a spy for The Party. If they saw something suspicious the Thought Police would immediately report it to The Party. The helicopters weren’t the only way Party members used surveillance.
The Party also used telescreens to spy on its citizens. A telescreen is basically a one-way TV that only The Party could control. This little TV was also used for spying on everyone as they recorded everything the screen heard and saw (George Orwell, New York). With the telescreen Party members would know what you had to eat and what time you went to bed and what you talked about all through the day.
Throughout the essay, I have explained what both governments used to survey their citizens. It turns out that both governments have similarities and differences with each other in many ways than we think. 1984’s Oceania used helicopters as a recon to spy on citizens anywhere in the city. They also used telescreens to listen to people’s conversations and watch their every move. Our society today use cell phones to watch our every move whether we know it or not. Also, our society uses Social Media to monitor our conversations and our interests.
Our society differs from 1984 in many ways. Our technology of surveillance is more advanced than in 1984. In addition, our surveillance isn’t as obvious as the Party used in 1984. Starting with technology our society is way more advanced than in 1984. We have cell phones instead of telescreens, and we use cameras instead of helicopters to spy on citizens. Also, our execution is way more discreet than in 1984. It was obvious that The Party was watching you if you can’t change the channel on the TV(George Orwell, New York) and also a random helicopter flies by your room for no reason. These are just some of the differences in our society and Oceania’s.
Just like there are differences in execution there are also similarities. Our society and 1984 are similar in the way that they both use media to survey the citizens. In addition, our society has special police that handles surveillance just like the Thought Police in 1984(George Orwell, New York). To start the use of media to survey citizens is how we use cell phones and Social Media to watch over our citizens and in 1984 the telescreen would display propaganda and could listen and watch your every move and hear every word you say. As for the next similarity, Our police use unmarked vehicles for surveillance on specific places just like the Thought Police us their helicopters to spy on Oceania’s citizens(George Orwell, New York). These are some of the similarities between our government and Oceania’s.
As a result, this is how surveillance in our society today compares to the surveillance in Oceania in 1984. With these examples, surveillance has evolved and has gotten stronger and has grown craftier. In our society people barely notice if the government is watching their movement and conversation right under their nose. In this way, Oceania has made surveillance all around
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