By Nancy Black
Back in my old school days, there was this little book called “1984.” It was written by a man named George Orwell and it predicted the day when the government would have a watchful eye on everything everyone did. Every school aged child was required to read the book, and we of the duck-and-cover age lived in fear of the day when 1984 would become a reality.
Now, 34 years after the real 1984, society seems to be embracing the idea of an all watchful eye looking over us. We welcome being monitored at every intersection. We happily provide details of our day to day lives via the Internet. And we even “check in” to let others know our exact location.
My children snickered out loud when they saw my cell phone. No, it’s not a flip phone. I’m more advanced than that. I have an actual Smart Phone, like everyone else. And it even has a cute, green protective cover on it. My children laughed at it because I had all these apps on my home screen.
Evidently, I’m supposed to create files on my phone to organize all the apps on my screen, much like I do on my computer. OK, so I did that. But now I can’t figure out which sub folder I put my “settings” button in.
I don’t understand why we have to download apps for everything. My youngest travelled recently on Alaska Air. I downloaded the airline’s app so I could track the flight. Now I don’t need the app anymore. Am I supposed to uninstall it or just tuck it away somewhere in one of those random files I just created on my phone?
And while I’m ranting, why do we have to have fobs for every store we visit? Isn’t Big Brother tracking us enough already? Seriously, if I actually carried a fob — those little plastic, miniature bar code scanner things — for every store that offered me one, I’d be walking around with a mini deck of cards on my already too cluttered key ring.
The stores where I shop already know exactly what items I buy, how much I buy and the exact time I buy them. They send me coupons via email and text messages to enhance my shopping experience. And they promise me the lowest possible prices if I join in their rewards program. Do I really need to let them further into my life? No.
I am finally drawing the line. No more apps for me. If it’s not already on my phone or computer’s desktop, I don’t need it. If you’re not already giving me the lowest price on an item, I don’t want it. And if you ask me for my email address so you can send me discounts to my inbox, I’m going to answer, “No.”
George would have wanted it that way.