Don’t Get Bored Big Brother

“Take a look at this footage on my iPad.  Look at this guy.  Look at what he is doing on the side of my house.  That *%$^&# is putting graffiti on my house.”

This discussion really happened to me a few months ago with a friend.  He had CCTVs installed around his home only to discover that there were some nasty characters lurking around his neighbourhood late at night.  Now fast forward to last weekend.  I was putting petrol in my car when I looked up and noticed FOUR cameras all pointed at me.  Do that many cameras need to be watching me do something as mundane as filling a car with fuel?  Then it occurred to me that both examples of human surveillance were connected.

Although my friend never caught the graffiti artist personally, there was still a sense of satisfaction knowing that this act had been captured and handed on to the proper authorities.  Fill a car with petrol and drive off without paying and I’m sure those same authorities would be knocking on your door in no time.  The owners of that petrol station would also be satisfied knowing that every movement on their premises is being captured for the benefit of their business.

I have been quick to agree with the ‘Big Brother is watching’ theory in the past and lament the fact that humans can no longer go about their day without every move, twitch, scratch and who knows what being filmed, however it also makes me think it has the potential to place a level of safety and security in our lives both personally and professionally.  How many crimes against people and businesses are reported in the media which feature footage captured by surveillance cameras?  Could this possibly be a deterrent?

Security cameras

Security cameras by futureatlas.com (CC BY 2.0)

I have been focused on surveillance in our society much more than usual recently; getting my head into a space to engage, analyse and critique.  This has caused me to look up more than I usually do.  While I am getting treatment for the neck spasms, it has also made me realise that instead of shaking my fist at the 20th camera that has caught me in the first ten minutes of my day, it might just be playing a helpful role in a safety conscious society.  I haven’t quite made my mind up just yet although I am looking forward to dissecting both sides of the argument as my study journey continues.

Big Brother may be watching, but he is going to get bored very quickly if it is just me at the fuel pump.

Petrol station

Petrol Station by Michael Coghlan (CC BY 2.0)

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16 thoughts on “Don’t Get Bored Big Brother

  1. Hi there,

    Very nice blog post it’s great to see you are very comfortable using Creative Commons licensed material and have the skill set to properly acknowledge and link the work alongside licence. The use of your images is pleasing to the eye, keeping the reader engaged making your post easy to read. A few ideas heading forward with this post or future posts is to try find scholarly peer reviewed sources you can use in your writing to further enhance your post on more of an academic level. Another suggestion is to practice the skill of embedding tweets into your posts to further display engaging features and different forms of media into your blog. I really enjoyed your whole layout of your blog and creating a visually pleasing experience, keep up the good work!

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  2. Hi Joe,
    I found your blog to be very easy to engage with because of its conversational tone. I particularly like the way you work through the issue of surveillance with the use of anecdotal elements to convey your discussion.
    You seem to have a handle on using creative commons, so good work for utilising two relevant images!

    Have a go at working some scholarly material into this blog. I think it would really help to pinpoint further evidence into how CCTV is watching our every move.

    The use of humour also invites readers to understand your opinions. They can easily relate to you more as a real person, instead of making readers feel left out, so good job!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Joe,
    I love this post! Your own personality shone through, especially at the beginning where you started out with your own personal experiences and then integrating that into the problem and positive at hand.
    To keep this great ball rolling you should definitely add in some further research from some scholarly sources, which will add further conviction to your argument.
    Your title is perfect at drawing the reader in and your integration of images breaks up the text whilst adding further context to your post.
    Great work!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Joe,

    Great introduction as it intrigued me relatively quickly and had me wanting to continue to read. I enjoyed that you really bought your personality into this blog and made sure we knew your own personal stance on the surveillance and CCTV subject. It was great to hear how a personal experience was enriched through the use of CCTV and how this could have a positive outcome, considering most texts and scholarly articles are quite dystopian and leave us all wondering about the considerably large use of CCTV.
    I would have personally loved to see some more research or debate into the topic and another scholarly article driving your argument home, however, you did a great job, keep up the awesome work!

    Thanks,
    Marna.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great read Joe. I thoroughly enjoyed you use of images and your personal take on the topic.
    Moreover, when you questioned how many crimes against people and businesses are reported in the media which feature footage captured by surveillance cameras and its deterring element, it made me think of something. The fact that CCTV is present may be a deterrent, however does it stop crime altogether? It certainly may help catch it but often this footage may go unnoticed if no one addresses it and there isn’t attention to it. Perhaps further scholarly research could strengthen your post here. Have a look into the Jill Meagher case and the use of surveillance here, highly relatable to your post.
    On the whole, a critical piece with great depth and use of personal experience!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Joe,

    Your article is interesting in the way you have managed to come out with a number of live examples to point out your arguments. This has really opened up my view to see just how many surveillance devices out there that can keep tracks on my activities. Your tone and expression is also appropriate and suitable with the discussed content. To add some spices, it would be a great idea to search for academic references to tell the concept within the usage of the heavily surveillance devices and how it is expected to perform. You could also embed one or two tweets that tells about your daily meet-ups with these surveillance devices.

    A solid writing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Joe,

    I really love your written style of your post! The introduction and the layout of your post are great, especially you are using your own experience throughout the post, and makes your points more outstanding. Your article really got me thinking about is that necessary to use that much of surveillance camera to monitor people? What is the point of those surveillance camera, lack of trust?All the images you had been use really match with the topic, and they acted important role to support your ideas. However, I would suggest that you should add some academic sources to support your ideas, because that would make your post more professional and reliable. Besides, you could embed some relevant tweets in your post, and I think it could help you to explain more your content. Apart from that, great work and keep going!

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  8. Hi Joe,
    This is a great blog post. Your tone made the post easy to read and I was intrigued from the very first line.

    The content brings up some very good points. I like that you discuss the positives of CCTV in regards to safety and I especially like that you went to the effort of including a hyperlink to a web page explaining the history of CCTVs. Your images are relevant and suit the content very well. It is great to see that you are familiar with using creative commons.

    Including some scholarly research may have strengthened the post a bit more but overall you have written a great blog post that is enjoyable to read.
    Great Work!

    Like

  9. Hi Joe! This is a really great post. You have a very strong, comedic voice that comes through your writing. I enjoyed the personal anecdote and the commentary that followed felt like a very natural progression. I would perhaps suggest some scholarly material or even some statistics on the number of petty petrol crimes (a quick, unsubstantiated Google nearly made me fall off my chair!) to give your piece a bit more strength in argument. Very well written though, with well-placed and referenced images that ensure your blog is neat and visually engaging.

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  10. Hi, Joe.

    Reading the headline makes me want to dive right into this post. Using a personal experience as your introduction work really well. Your writing and language throughout the whole post is an easy read, which is great. Extra points for linking CCTVs history page into almost the beginning of the text (in case someone wants more information about it)- and the fact that the page opened in a new window.
    “I have been quick to agree with the ‘Big Brother is watching’ theory in the past and lament the fact that humans can no longer go about their day without every move, twitch, scratch and who knows what being filmed, however it also makes me think it has the potential to place a level of safety and security in our lives both personally and professionally.” – That is 65 words in one sentence. You might want to cut this into two sentences, so the readers don´t have to gasp for their breath. I would also like to see some scholarly sources to support your argument.

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  11. Joe your piece was a blessing to read. The idea of always being watched is uncomfortable and confronting. If we started to specifically look for surveillance like you started too I think it would put into context how extensive the issue is. Your anecdotes and expression ensured the reader hung on to every last word. The quote in your introduction set the tone for the entire piece. For tips I’d recommend a few embed tweets and some scholarly sources just to put into perspective how widespread ‘Big Brother’ is. Thanks for the Enjoyable read.
    From Luke.

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  12. Interesting post Joe. I like how you have presented a utopian view on a mostly dystopian topic. Your anecdotes are great and make it easier for audiences to connect with you however I believe some peer reviewed scholarly research would make your argument stronger. Great use of creative commons licensed material, you referenced that perfectly. I think with a little more research, this could be a very strong piece 🙂

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  13. Hi Dave
    I really enjoyed your post and I found that your use of tone and how you structure the post were some of the major reasons why. Through incorporating personal stories you were able to structure the arguments of the issue of surveillance in clear and relatable. You clearly have a good understanding of creative commons as it was used effectively throughout your post. I’m glad you hyperlinked CCTV as it gives the read the opportunity to learn more about CCTVs so they could look beyond your post further into the importance of the cameras. However I would suggest including a couple of academic resources throughout your post to give your post greater authority and depth.

    Like

  14. Hello Joe!

    I really enjoyed this blog post and your take on the topic. I like that you included a discussion with your friend about the experience of CCTV cameras, I found it to be very engaging and I enjoyed the story.

    By including the images of the security cameras and of the petrol stations legally, it shows that you have a good understanding of creative commons. These images also make the blog more engaging, so well done.

    I believe in constructive criticism and suggest that you include scholarly sources/further research in this blog post as it would make information more professional and reliable.

    Overall, this blog was well written and engaging. Well done, keep up the good work!

    Like

  15. Hi Joe,

    Your blog post was both entertaining and thoughtful. It’s nice to have a take on surveillance which moves away from the dystopic to the potential uses it can have for ordinary people! Also, your story about your friend and his enemy the graffiti artist is a good reminder that we are not only the passive subjects of surveillance – we are fully capable of putting other people under surveillance and taking back the power. Or becoming anti-graffiti vigilantes?

    Also, great use of perfectly referenced Creative Commons images!

    Like

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