This week I finished The Circle by Dave Eggers. In the book, The Circle is the world’s largest technology company, it has the best online services and the lead when it comes to hardware. It is viewed as the best place to work as you get access to exclusive technology and insights. However, early in the book you begin to wonder if it really is that great!
Whilst I listened to the audiobook, the story felt a little like a fantasy; the employees are being covered in wearable tech, the governments are entering ‘complete transparency’ meaning they have a live camera and microphone on them at all times. It all felt a little over the top.
However it didn’t take me long to see the overlap with today’s technology. Only a few days later my brother came home with a new smart wristband, talking with amazement about how it tracked everything from his sleep pattern; his heart rate and alerting him when he has a new follower on twitter.
‘Complete transparency’ isn’t so alien either. Millions of snapchat videos and periscope streams mean that we are more likely to be filmed when we either don’t realise or want to on a regular basis!
The uses and advancements of technology in the book were extremely concerning, so should we be concerned?
I say, not yet!
Advancements in technology are amazing and they do provide endless benefits. Whilst many can be sceptical or hold back, I try to embrace technology as much as I can and I think others should as it is only going to continue moving forward.
However, what is important is the need for privacy. I would love to know how I had slept the previous night or know my heart rate when working out, however I wouldn’t want that information to be accessible for all to see and know.
Unfortunately social media is making many people feel that they must share all details of their life, this is where we need to be concerned. The loss of privacy can only end badly.
Without the choice to have privacy when using technology, it soon heads towards a 1984 scenario …. and if you don’t know what I mean then 1984 must be next on your reading list!