Thursday, July 21, 2011

Watching the Watchers

One of the themes that runs through my upcoming novel Life is But a Dream has to do with this concept of being watched. The main character, Sabrina, feels as though she is always been watched. She assumes every street light is recording her movements, that every eye is a camera and that every bit of her that is seen is somehow stolen and lost forever.

As I enter the last phase of writing on my newest manuscript, I'm realizing that this theme is also very prevalent in this work as well, though it manifests itself in a different way. It's a concept that I think all of us victims of the modern age can relate to. The idea of Big Brother seems to move ever closer. Whether it's the blanketing of the world under CCTV or even just traffic cameras and store security, we are always being watched. But what's more disturbing perhaps is how much we volunteer to the world for viewing and how willingly we give access.

Like the child demanding attention, there is a part of all of us that enjoys being seen. But what happens when the watchers don't have the best intentions? And what are the implications of growing up under surveillance? These are the ways I've been approaching the subject. I think this is going to be one of the biggest questions facing society over the next twenty to thirty years. But then again...maybe I'm just paranoid.


  1. You're not alone, a book that was big with me as a teenager )apart from Catcher in the Rye) was The Outsider (Colin Wilson). Haven't read it for years - buttalks of what I would Alienation.

  2. Really looking forward to reading your new book! I almost think teenagers today don't think of it as surveillance but celebrity. I'm being watched, so I better do something interesting or funny or obnoxious or slutty or... maybe I'M the paranoid one, what with a daughter who will be a teenager someday :)

  3. In this day and age, with surveillance cameras everywhere, I really do worry about "Big Brother" and all of the not so nice people who can hack into that feed. I don't think I'm paranoid about it, per se, I just don't like it! lol Thanks for the thought provoking post :)

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  4. Julie H- great point. I think a lot of teens ( and adults for that matter) do view it as a type of celebrity.

    Julie (jwitt)- I don't trust the people setting it up :)