The Internet is Always Watching Us

We Live in Public displays how the internet can destroy a person from the inside out. I thought it was a good documentary because it shows the psychological progression of what surveillance can do to the human condition. Now social media controls out lives and we constantly live in the public. Back in the early 2000s, it was still a new concept. People were excited but by experimenting on people 24 hours without privacy can damage a person. With social media, we choose what we post and what we want to share. Other people are not seeing us going to the bathroom or having sex if we don’t post it. With Josh Harris’s experiments the people were not given a choice of what they wanted to share.

During the beginning of the documentary, I noticed that Josh did not have any friends. Therefore he his only companion was the television. He escaped his own life and found a new family and life though the shows he watched such as Gilligan’s Island. Knowing this is interesting because the viewer will realize that he was deprived of social contact and used the television to experience life and a young child. Through escapism, Josh could forget about his problems in the real world and create a world of his own; which he did.

The experiment Quiet was his fantasy world. He wanted simulate an experiment that would place people under constant surveillance. These cameras would be shown to the public via the Internet. I was thinking why would someone subject themselves to this experiment. I didn’t understand why people wanted to be test rats for this. But this was taken place in early 2000s so this idea was new and exciting. At first these people liked the idea of this Quiet society. Everything was free: food, drink, sex, beer, and guns therefore it seemed like a paradise. Who wouldn’t want to be part of this experiment?

As the documentary displayed, this type of environment started to turn people into monsters. Humans need a place where they have their own privacy. In this society, people did not have their own space. They had to share everything with the whole world. Their most intimate moments were gone. I realized that this would eventually break someone. These people were going crazy and they were only there for 30 days.

The next experiment Josh tried was on himself. He and his girlfriend, Tanya started to film themselves. They made every moment of their lives public. Just like the previous experiment, the beginning was fun and exciting for them. I could see why this would be fun because who wouldn’t want to be the first ones to have their lives public? This is fame for them. They wanted to become famous and display their lives on the internet. Josh soon realized that making him the rat in the experiment was totally different than being the controller. His relationship and life was taking a toll due to the constant surveillance in their life.

Surveillance invades a person’s privacy. They had no privacy and when the subject of sex came up and they were in a middle of a fight Tanya did not want to be a porn star for the whole world. Josh got mad and said that she committed to this. I agree with Tanya but I can see Josh’s point. I don’t understand why Josh didn’t stop the experiment when he knew everything around him was changing. I think he was too stubborn and wanted to continue this experiment to prove a point. It ruined his relationship with Tanya and all his other relationships as well. He eventually moved to Ethiopia to coach a boys’ basketball team.

These experiments changed how people used technology and the power of surveillance. Now everyone uses technology and we are constantly plug into our phones which connect to the internet. We have some say in what we post to the internet but everything on the internet is collected and stored into a databased. This information can be used at any time and can destroy someone. Privacy is essential to humans and we also need some of it in order maintain ourselves. Therefore, the conclusion is that technology and social media changes us as a person. We live in a surveillance world and as technology increases our privacy decreases.