Privacy Lost: The Amazing Benefits of the Completely Examined Life
Your iPhone's tracking you. Your game network just surrendered all your personal data. And your mom is posting your potty-training videos on Facebook. Like many of us, you're laboring under the delusion that privacy matters--that there's such a thing as too much (public) information. It's time to get over it! Soon we'll all recognize the positives of exposing every aspect of our lives. What a relief it will be when we've finally revealed everything and have nothing left to hide. Herewith, the potential benefits of our upcoming, privacy-free utopia:
• Better security, plus entertainment, 24/7: Tune into the airport security "Grope-cam" channel.
• Lose weight through public shaming. Live feed of your personal calorie-intake monitor. And all of your followers can heckle and haze you between bites.
• Never wonder about the location of your wayward spouse again: All citizens' locations are now tracked on GoogleMaps, via surgically imbedded cell phone/GPS.
• Reality TV show: Confessional Confidential. With America's priest, Ryan Seacrest!
• Enhanced GPS capabilities and labeling will identify you as being "in the vicinity" even when you aren't actually in a posted photograph. Great for connecting you to drunken parties where you somehow avoided getting captured on film.
• Web-connected sonogram, plus insertable peripheral for in utero tweeting.
• DNA analysis calculates your likely death date. Everyone has a forehead tattoo: "Best by 2/17/2056"
• Reality TV show: He Said/She Said. All marital disputes are broadcast, with outcomes decided by American Idol-style voting. Bonus: Phone company kicks back a fraction of a cent for each incoming call.
• You too can become "Mayor" of The Lusty Lady. Free lap dance with every 30th check-in.
• Made a pile o' cash last year? No need to tweet your W-2. IRS e-Filings are now public.
• Don't date in the dark: Point your phone at the object of your interest, and the "Hook-Up History" app will display a catalog of the individual's previous sexual partners. Now with individual color codes for each STD.
• Reality TV show: Deep Blue Analysis. Contestants engage in intensive psychotherapy sessions with Jeopardy-winning computer Watson. Person who offers the least embarrassing or titillating revelations each week gets voted off the show and out of therapy. Home audience participates through special Electroshock button on remotes.
• No one is permitted to wed until having received a rose on national TV.
• Never view a nonrelevant ad again: Let advertisers "drop a pixel" in your optical nerve to see what attracts your eye. "Now companies know what I want before I do!"
• Never write a Facebook status update again. On-body sensors will capture the data, and transcribe and relay pertinent information automatically. "Those fish tacos did not sit well with Mark last night."
• Reality TV show: Flame War Arena. Formerly anonymous strangers who have engaged in vitriolic debates in online forums meet each other in person for the first time--armed with primitive weapons, in a no-holds-barred cage match. Voice actors read transcripts of their posts while a live audience eggs them on. Winning mano a mano proves that the victor was right and the loser was wrong.
• Skype in the shower.
• Voice-activated "Lie Monitor" matches your every statement to facts stored in its information database and publicly announces each instance of prevarication. Device is disabled for all politicians and corporate spokespersons.
• TVs have front-facing cameras that never shut off. You watch them; they watch you.
• Reality TV show: Who Wants to Stop Being a Celebrity? Disillusioned B-, C-, and D-list celebs vie to reveal some previously unknown sordid detail of their life. Winner mysteriously and permanently vanishes from the all-encompassing information grid. All of the others remain celebrities.
See other positive possibilities in our totally exposed future? Share them in the Comments.