Recently it was revealed that the Feds are monitoring everyone’s online activity and cell calls under the guise of national security. I’m not sure if I feel secure or paranoid about this, because the internet is forever. For proof, search “Lindsay Lohan” or “Kardashian” and see what pops up. There are plusses and minuses to cohabitating with Big Brother. On the plus side, you’ll never have to worry about being alone because someone is always watching you. The down side is what they’re watching.
I met up with some friends I hadn’t seen for awhile and the conversation got around to “What have you been up to?” Before I could answer, one of them beat me to it.
“Tim’s been seeing a woman he met through an online dating service.”
“How did you know that?” I asked.
“I read it on Facebook. If you wouldn’t mind a suggestion, get a haircut. You looked kinda shaggy in that picture.”
“Yeah,” another guy added, “I was gonna mention that after I saw your karaoke night performance at the Yellow Rose Cafe.”
“You saw that?” I incredulously asked.
“Someone posted it on YouTube. Man, were you loaded! Did you know that you’ve had a couple thousand hits already?”
I felt like my life was slipping out of my grasp.
“I’ve been meaning to ask you,” another friend began, “about the amount of time you spend in the bathroom. Is there a health problem you wanna talk about, ol’ buddy?”
My eyes narrowed. “How the hell would you know how much time I spend in the bathroom?”
“From that thermal imaging thing on Google Earth. And when are you gonna trim those trees in your back yard?”
My mind reeled. Another friend, who happens to be a cop, put his arm around my shoulder then led me off to the side.
“If you don’t mind some friendly advice, watch it when you approach a yellow traffic light. You should stop instead of speeding through as it turns red.”
“How did you know I do that?”
“Traffic cams. I got your entire driving history when I ran your license plate. Oh, and another thing – when you visit the adult section of the video store, wear a hat or keep your head down.’
“Don’t tell me – security cameras.”
“Yeah. The vice cops check those things, so be careful. Of course, if you got in a jam you could always consult your attorney, since you’ve already called him several times this month.”
I slowly shook my head. “How would you know…”
“Your cell provider posted your calling history on a chat board. Might want to avoid the escort services, too.”
While I was recovering from this unwanted breach of privacy I was approached by two guys wearing suits, who flashed gold badges.
“Sir, you’ll need to come with us. We want to question you about some e-mails you sent to your mother.”
“You used certain words that are on our watch list.”
“Which words?” I demanded.
He consulted his note pad. “Tea Party. That sent up a red flare.”
“I was asking her if she enjoyed her neighbor’s tea party last week, and those e-mails were personal!”
He chuckled. “Not anymore.”
I’ve accepted the fact that we’re always on someone’s video camera and I believe that this technology is crucial in preserving national and personal security. It’s been used effectively to solve or stop crimes, which is a very good thing. If you took a poll, most folks would probably sacrifice a little privacy for peace of mind.
But if someone wearing Google Glass ever follows me into a public restroom…
Tim Smith is an award-winning bestselling author whose books range from romantic mystery to contemporary erotic romance. His website is www.timsmithauthor.com.