The #Plane Bae saga

Rosey Blair’s opening of the portals of untruth, as in “the crowd is untruth”, underscores once again the perils and wretchedness of ubiquitous surveillance (often not carried out by governments or faceless megacorporations but ordinary citizens), coupled with the unwholesome tendencies toward exploitative voyeurism so many find unproblematic.

The online thread, which went viral of course, a twitter feed, documented without permission the so-called “budding romance” between two people getting to know each other on an airplane, for those of you not familiar with the story.

One article on this subject quotes someone named Taylor Lorenz, an internet culture reporter for the Atlantic.

“That’s one of the biggest problems with social media: It allows you to exploit the world and people around you to get attention for your own benefit,” Lorenz told the online periodical The Business Insider. “Everyone is just using each other for content. It encourages you to look at the world that way.”

For me this quote summarizes the problem we are now faced with as seen in its broad outlines.  It’s far more significant than that some one party got exploited one time.  One has to assume that everything one does in public can be treated in this way.  The moral:  Look behind you in the plane cabin, in the theatre, walking down the street, to see if anyone is spying on you with their smartphones.  Don’t say anything that the masses will pick up on to your detriment.  Know your enemy.  One must now contend with yet another layer of the intrusion of the herd mentality into lives this herd does not respect, which operates on the principle that 60,000 romance voyeurs can’t be wrong.  It’s “merely” a matter of magnification of tendencies that have been there for millennia of course.  But now the world is Peyton Place.  Everyone is now using each other for content, to exploit the world to get attention for one’s own benefit.  Do you really want to play this game?

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