I don’t think I ever managed to finish reading Orwell’s 1984 probably because I liked Big Brother’s panop-soc-gov-cult-struct too much and wanted to be part of it – in the Inner Party of course where you get to program the complex system of carrots and sticks (mostly sticks) that drive the little widget-rodents (aka proles aka unimportant people) through their meaningless existence.
So, imagine my pleasure when over the last few years, I’ve begun to detect an upgraded version of Orwell’s utopia springing up around me on the Interwebs with the added bonus that it is decentralised (that being every nascent neo-libs wet-dream). Wait a minute, you say, in what way can our empowered free-information wired-journo-citizen clicktivist paradise resemble Orwell’s CCTV in every corner of the dream-house world?
Here’s a couple of questions back at you: Have you ever hesitated to post something to your social network for fear of offending your friend-list or followers? Have you ever slightly modified something you’ve banged out in a hurry for better effect?
Then welcome to our brave new Orwellian state of:
- con-real – where the only reality that matters is the one that everyone within your
peer groupinternet ghetto has consensually co-created and approves of;
- op-brag – where it is every home-person’s duty to periodically post an opinion that proves their allegiance to the con-real; and
- soc-lev – where your social approval rating or hierarchy position within your con-real is almost purely determined by how
virulentarticulate and extremethoughtful your op-brags are.
Well then, just as an experiment when next you feel strongly about an issue, using the internet identity* you are most invested in, write quickly and without thought into your FB / twitter / blog and publish immediately.
Go on, you know you want to do it.