This report has been made to show what people think about CCTV surveillance, and if they think our life is being controlled and in which manners. The information was collected thanks to a survey via Internet to 21 people (11 female, 10 male) of ages ranging from 18 to 38 years old. What do they really think about this topic?
Most of those students had an optimistic view of reality: more than three quarters are convinced that normal people aren’t under constant vigilance, for many reasons (“we’re not too important”; “when we are at home we are safe”). However, 20% of the students said they were worried because somebody (state, police, corporations) are conditioning our actions although we don’t realise it.
When asked about explicit brainwashing involving newspapers, radios, or other mass media, opinions are quite diverse: half of the students think that there is always a person behind the news, with its interests. Only 4 said that there is no manipulation, and the other 8 had various opinions which ranged from “only stupid people can be manipulated” to “we only see what we want to see”. Then, the next question was about George Orwell’s “1984”, a book in which he described a totalitarian society where every second of a man’s life is controlled by cameras, helicopters, and speakers; and ruled by an omnipresent dictator called “Big Brother”. This name has been recently used to entitle a reality show where people live in a house and are recorded 24 hours a day. Only 2 people had read the book, and found it disquieting and pessimistic. The other students had heard about the book (23%), thought it was like the TV show (19%) or had no idea at all (47%).Cameras are not as worrying for people as one may think: two thirds of the students think installing more cameras is good as far as they are only used for security reasons, and in public places, not in private ones. However, there were 3 students who seemed worried about them, as they “violated our private life”. One person even said that thanks to cameras, people tend to behave better than without them.
And… the question about people taking decision at our backs: I was surprised to notice that ALL the students said that powerful and rich people oriented our life by taking the important decisions. With different opinions, of course; one said that, in fact, we decide about our lives, although the political and economical decisions are taken by the powerful people.
As a conclusion, it seems that people don’t have a common idea about what cameras and mass media mean for our lives; but most of them think that in this new century that we have recently started freedom will be the same, or even higher, as in the last century. That’s quite optimistic, and we’ll only have to wait and watch…