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Progressing Write Along

Phyllis Humby's picture
Tue, 02/05/2013 - 14:31 -- Phyllis Humby

'I saw what you did and I know who you are.'  In 1965, this quote struck fear in the hearts of every moviegoer.  Two teenage girls became the target for terror by a man who had just murdered his wife.  To think, it all began with a crank phone call. 

Today, a phone call like that wouldn't faze any of us.  Of course, they saw what we did and know who we are; we live in a fish bowl, for crying out loud. 

What immediately comes to mind is Truman, the 1998 movie with Jim Carey.  Truman's life is filmed through thousands of hidden cameras, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Sound familiar?  Well, think about this − it was originally drafted as a science fiction thriller!

How many times a day are we captured on camera?  Shopping in stores, waiting to cross an intersection, driving down the highway...  Our every movement is tracked – well, hopefully, not all our movements. 

We're buying into this by posting all aspects of our lives online, including where we eat and what we eat – usually there's a picture.  We update when we're lonely, sad, angry, or celebrating – usually another picture. 

It took me years to get comfortable on facebook.  Even now, I experience a touch of paranoia and a blush of peeping tom-ism, depending on the updates − and the pictures.  Nothing is sacred − nothing is secret.

That will never change.  Google earth has us in focus − literally.  Think about that the next time you traipse outside in your nightgown or boxers to take the garbage to the curb. 

It makes me wonder if you saw me on my butt in the roadside ditch – cold slushy water to my waist.  Ahh yes, dressed for an appointment in town and I lost my footing while reaching for the lid of the garbage can.  Always one to think positive, I was thankful there were no vehicles travelling past.  Instead of a panicky look up and down the road, I should have looked skyward. 

Imagine how invasive the technology will be for future generations.  Here's my take on it. 

Trust will go the way of respect when parents are able to 'track' their teenagers' whereabouts.  You can run, but you can't hide.  Curfew?  Not a problem.  The kids will feel a little jolt thirty minutes before it's time to go home.  Every ten minutes this electrical surge will become stronger.  'Okay, bro, I'm out,' your teenager will say as he leaves the party.  And how will that be managed?  Easy.  Human tracking implants! 

They're already in the experimental stages.  If you don't believe me, google it!  In my opinion, this is where it's going.  At birth, a personal ID microchip will be implanted between the thumb and forefinger.  Yes, there are pictures online.  I told you they are already experimenting!  
There will be periodic updates to record next of kin, medical history, banking information, etc.  It will eliminate all plastic cards − even passports!  Actually, it'll be pretty cool.  You'll have everything in hand.  (sorry about that)

It will register employment history, education, and identify persons with criminal records.  Again, I'm thinking positive; maybe the microchips will identify pedophiles by emitting a flashing light that will beam every thirty seconds.  Yeah, I'm all for that.  It gives having your lights put out a whole new meaning. 

We'll use it to log on to our computers, too – no problem.  In an experimental form, microchip implants are already being used to open home and car doors.  
There will be no need to exchange business cards at lunch.  A simple handshake will transfer the contact info to your chip so you can download to the electronic device on your wrist.  Can you block some info?  Not sure, it depends what model you have.

Now my fiction writer's mind is edging into play.  Hmmm ...  a severed hand could unlock many secrets ...  Nah, fehgedaboudit, it would self-destruct at the first sign of foul play.  Although, I think they're still working on that.

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