In 1984, Apple released one of the greatest commercials ever during Super Bowl XVIII. It was an advertisement for the very first Macintosh computer that used Big Brother from George Orwell’s classic novel as the face of their competition. They chose the antagonist from 1984 to represent the elite that seemed to control technology and their consumers while the olympian, who symbolized Apple’s new creation, disrupted the brainwashing by breaking the big screen bringing forth the idea of a new hope. Apple’s Macintosh came to save the day but years later, in 2017, the idea of 1984 is more poignant than ever and we can give a bit of credit to our “personal” technology.
Today’s political climate is disgusting. Privacy is a thing of the past and every part of our lives is under some kind of surveillance. In fact, we as inhabitants of the information age tend to share every aspect of our daily occurrences leaving nothing to imagination; it seems that we no longer believe in the beauty of mystery. Would it be too much of risk to say that we are slaves to the rhythm of social media? As much as the idea of Big Brother is viewed as the worst possible threat to our democracy, we willingly subject ourselves to the observations of watch dogs everywhere once we log in to any of our favorite social media platforms. We build and fund our own digital prisons.
We record sex tapes and upload them on the net as voyeurs or to spite lovers that pissed us off. I’ve seen such things such as fights and arguments that shouldn’t be recorded go viral and ruin careers of those that made bad judgement calls. Some of them deserved to take those Ls while others were victims of an opportunist trying to gain fame via youtube or Worldstar. I’m a staunch believer that everything isn’t meant for public consumption but there are far too many that use technology as a void filler or as a temporary pacifier for their own feelings of inadequacy.
When I look back at that commercial, I see our generation in those seats glued to the big screens of our laptops, cell phones, and 4K televisions under the impression that we are free but we’ve really surrendered our autonomy in exchange for followers and likes.