In George Orwell's classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, we were introduced to the concept that "Big Brother is watching you." Sixty-three years after the novel's publication, Big Brother is not the only one we have to worry about. It's everyone. Your private life is forever over.
Here's a quote from the novel.
"In the past, no government had the power to keep its citizens under constant surveillance. The invention of print, however, made it easier to manipulate public opinion, and the film and the radio carried the process further. With the development of television, and the technical advance which made it possible to receive and transmit simultaneously on the same instrument, private life came to an end."
Today, we've taken it even further. Digital technology, social media, and instant access to data has turned our society into perennial Peeping Toms, snoops, busybodies, yentas, task chair critics, citizen journalists, and purveyors of all kinds of content. And I'm not just talking about the marketers!
We have risen to the occasion that presented itself---open forums to express ourselves---whether for personal or business purposes. We jumped on the social media bandwagon to be heard. In this crazy world, all we want is to matter. Now, our fans and followers feed our egos daily, only as long as we keep contributing to the feed.
Some of us hide behind the anonymity of alias profile names to avoid any connection to our "real" selves. But, how hard is it to be found out? Our lives have become open books to all who seek to read them.
As marketers, many of us are early adopters, experimenting with the next new thing as if our lives depended on it. We have a strong need to share what we learn and know, so we have become digital explorers in the proliferating media channels.
According to Beverly Macy in the Huffington Post, "As we continue to turn to the Internet to watch, consume, and share entertainment, big brands are building media channels... [Companies] are finally acknowledging that social media has become the new rocket fuel powering all aspects of the organization today."
What does this mean to marketers? More channels to attract target audiences. Increased online marketing budgets. More rich data about prospects and customers. More competition for the smallest piece of market share.
And what does this mean to us as consumers? More places to get lost online. More marketing messages and conversations around those brands. More free stuff to entice us. More sharing. And more information about us online.
Everyone is watching. Are you?
(Photo courtesy of Bigstock: Spying)