Swickard column: The always watching society

© 2016 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.  “Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.” Thomas Jefferson
            Thomas Jefferson was more right today in his quote from two hundred years ago than when he was alive. Back then only if people were watching could they see what happened. Yes, someone could tell them what happened but to see it for themselves they had to be there when it happened.
            With amazing changes in our technology, we are now a society that is always watching and recording whatever happens anywhere. When anything happens, out comes the cellphones and the product goes on the Internet almost instantly so that lots of people know within moments.
            When I was younger and would come upon a traffic accident people would pile out of their cars to see if they could help those involved. Today people pile out of their cars and most jerk out their cellphones to record and instantly post what is happening rather than provide any help either for those injured or to direct traffic so no one else gets hurt. They just stand being of no use in a crisis.
            This would predict a respectful and lawful society since whatever you do will probably be recorded in security tapes, personal cellphones or other recording devices. But it seems we have a society that knows it is being recorded and acts badly despite the fact there always is a record of their actions.
            Often when confronted with the evidence they have done something wrong their response is: are you going to believe me or believe your own eyes? And we seem to believe the liars because we have a need for what they are lying about and so will be hopeful rather than truthful.
            With an always watching and recording society it is prudent to assume anything you do outside of your own home is being recorded. Not necessarily watched every moment, there are not enough people on our planet to watch everything as it is being recorded. But anything you do can be seen if there is a reason to look.
            I am so surprised when I see people doing things in stores which uniformly have security cameras. There is little chance that someone can do something without it being available for people to see and judge. This is especially so at athletic events, even local sports events.
            Example: recently it appears to me that at a New Mexico high school football game the referees cheated one New Mexico high school out of a victory in the last minute of the game. Frankly, this has happened before but what is different is that the theft is being watched by thousands of people on the Internet.
            The people who were broadcasting the game selected the last minute of the game where the game officials cheated and posted it on the Internet which is where I saw it. To those interested, it was a New Mexico high school football game between Artesia and Goddard high schools.
            Artesia won the game several times but the referees cheated which is shown on the recording. Least you think I am an Artesia supporter, no, I went to Goddard High School in the Fall of 1966. I have no dog in this controversy other than it is obviously a theft that was recorded.
            If you want to see this use the search term, “The final 37 seconds of this high school football game took asurreal 17 minutes.” I have watched it a couple times and those seventeen minutes are beyond belief. Each time I watch this I cannot believe that there was no action taken by the controlling authorities.
            Previously when these kinds of things happen you had to be at the game to see it or perhaps you could get a look at what each school had recorded. And even with the evidence so easily seen, the authorities are ignoring the theft and the given game stands. Sad.
            What has left the always watching society is truth. We cannot get the truth back into our society because so much of our always watching society loves to cheat and lie. I’m so very sad and that’s the truth.



Post a Comment