This is going to be an Alice-going-deep-down-the-rabbit-hole kind of post because there are many relatable tangents that I have about this style of “commentary” and “involvement”.
Let’s start with the basics: #ifeelnaked is a hashtag that individuals use to promote their disapproval of the NSA disclosure scandal that started with Edward Snowden’s leak of several classified programs in 2013. This week the Senate passed a bill to reform NSA programs aka putting a stop to several of the data collections that outraged so many Americans.
Here is a simplified list of the information the NSA collected:
- A record of most calls made in the U.S.
- Email, Facebook posts and instant messages
- Massive amounts of raw Internet traffic
- The contents of an unknown number of phone calls
Regardless of your opinion on if the NSA was within their rights of protecting the country or wildly infringing on American civil liberties, let’s clear one thing up right now: posting a photo of yourself nearly naked with the hashtag #ifeelnaked exposes you on a much more visible and applicable level than what the NSA had done. Additionally, in general – and brace yourself because this is tangent number 1 – the individuals who post this kind of social “commentary” (intentional use of quotes) are generally those who are not involved or have knowledge of legislature or measures that actually have a direct impact in their lives: education, homelessness, poverty, real honest-to-goodness security risks, human caused environmental damage, the list goes on and on. All of the above bullet points are data categories that already are collected by private businesses. Everything you do online is tracked. Everything. Is this news to you? And at least with the government, there are checks and balances… granted this strikes the most fear in people because who really knows.
I trust my government. Could it be better? Could we increase transparency and decrease corruption? YES. But how is posting a picture getting involved? Write to your congresswoman/man, write to your state legislature, write to the president! I guarantee you it’ll have a much more resolute impact on what you care about. This in comparison to a instagram picture holds a lot more influence.
Tangent no.2: if you’re so freaked out about surveillance you better get off the grid quick. Ditch the cell, social media, and any way that your internet search behavior can be traced back to you. Good luck with that.