Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Be Careful What You Tweet, Big Brother Is Watching!

Well I came across a story too irresistible not to write about. A couple of young people from Great Britain were planning to visit the United States and, in their excitement, they tweeted a couple of comments. To the couple, in their 20’s, these remarks were all harmless fun. However, the Homeland Security wasn’t laughing when they came across them a good week before the couple was due to arrive. How far is our government willing to go? A better question is how can they monitor billions of tweets and zero in on who wrote them? I am amazed. 

So what did they tweet that caused them to be detained, locked up and forbidden from visiting America? One tweet said they were coming to dig up the grave of Marilyn Monroe. The other tweet said they were coming to destroy America. The couple say that their words were taken too literally and all the meant is that they were coming to have a good time.  The male explained the tweet about Marilyn Monroe was a quote from our cartoon show “Family Guy.” The word “destroy” meant they were coming to get “trashed and party.” Security went so far as to search their suitcases for shovels.

Meanwhile, where does this end? Is this overkill? I live in New York and we are still affected by what happened on 911. I am all for increasing security and taking precautions, but seriously can we monitor every tweet around the world? Has technology become that sophisticated? Will our words, even the ones made in jest, come back and haunt us in the future? Who could have ever envisioned this? 

Maybe George Orwell’s book 1984 was a few years before it’s time. I always loved this book. Had he dated it about 20 years later he would have been declared a prophet. Remember the “newspeak” in 1984? It’s described as “the deliberately impoverished language promoted by the state.” It’s a simplified version of English vocabulary and grammar. Well what would you call emoticons and all the text abbreviations of LOL, BRB, 4get, etc etc that we all use, especially teenagers and young adults. One of the characters actually says, “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”

George Orwell must be spinning in his grave. If only he could have seen his work of fiction, become reality, right before his eyes. By the way, 1984 was only published in 1949. What do you think about this?

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