Thursday, April 18, 2013

Are we all living in the Truman Show?

In case you missed it, I got my hair done last night.

On any given day, you can see what I and about five thousand of your nearest and dearest friends have for breakfast. You can see when we go to sleep. When we bleed, you can watch us cry out in pain. When we are sad, you know it. When we're happy, you're the first to hear the good news.

You can track where we go on FourSquare, what we've eaten on MyFitnessPal and all of it can happen from a device you carry in your pocket.

Some great producers are to thank for this live programming...Call it Big Brother, if you will, and get 1984-variety paranoid, but we've become the producers...and the consumers.

Advertisers can see that we like our Starbucks, what kind, and hear about whether the new burger they've put out is good or not.

And we tell them. For free. And if we don't do it on the social networks, we slide the little plastic cards that fill our wallets, earning free gas or points, and they can see what we bought, stock more of it, stop carrying it...Cater to our every unspoken whim.

We advertise for them, in our pictures, their brand names. We wear them on our chests proudly, like some sort of shield against an angry world, proclaiming ourselves part of the Abercrombie or Old Navy cult and are trained to cull from the herd those who don't follow the same flag as we do.

I'd never seen the Truman Show until today, but who looks closely at their reality? Who changes it, actively says, "No, it can't be that way. I don't like it. I'm going to change it."?

People watch this movie, maybe some horrified that a man could be manipulated like that, or just entertained.

God knows, we have to stay entertained. If we stop being constantly busy, constantly part of the machine, constantly afraid or searching for a happy ever after that will make everything perfect and solve our problems in less than a half an hour, we might stop.



Oops, sorry. Got to go. Commercials are over and the show is back on.

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