Today: Jun 17, 2024

Privacy, no such thing

Photo Courtesy | The webcam overlooking Dunkin Donuts in the Student Center.

Savannah MulOpinions Editor

“Every hallway has a camera, every hallway has a camera don’t you know.”  This lyric is from “Gentlemen’s Pact,” a song by folk musician Conor Oberst or more commonly known to the masses as Bright Eyes. Yet, this song’s lyrics are extremely important to keep in mind, since nowadays, everybody is watching everybody.

Within Southern’s campus, some students might not be aware that they in fact are being watched in places such as Dunkin Donuts, as well as all the other food vendors located in the student center; the Bagel Wagon located in Engleman Hall, WSIN radio room and even Southern’s footbridge, which overlooks traffic and those walking across the bridge intersecting Fitch and Wintergreen.

Every  hallway has a camera and everyone watches each other, but shouldn’t we be used to this by now? Most people display much information about themselves on their Facebook or preferred social media website. Doing that, you are subjecting yourself to be searched or watched by unknown people.

Yet, maybe the invention of these cameras on Southern’s campus wasn’t intended to be a Big Brother scenario, but rather an aid to students and faculty so they can see the length of the food lines, or the traffic patterns around the bridge. Upon finding out about the cameras overlooking various areas around campus, my first thought—the song “Gentlemen’s Pacts” by Conor Oberst—popped right into my head, and second, “that’s kind of creepy.”

Photo Courtesy |  The webcam overlooking Dunkin Donuts in the Student Center.
Photo Courtesy |
The webcam overlooking Dunkin Donuts in the Student Center.

Despite the creepy vibe that initially ran through me, having these cameras available to students is actually quite useful and to access the camera is a Google search away. Either on Southern’s homepage or using the Google search bar type in: Southern CT Dunkin Cam. A link will direct you to the page, as well as a list of all the camera spots located on campus.

They are useful cameras, especially when you’re running late one morning and are determined to have a cup of coffee before your morning class. Check out the lines at Dunkin Donuts and the Bagel Wagon to see which one is shorter.

But nothing is private anymore, people! There are cameras watching the areas around campus and no matter how guarded or protected you make your social media sites to be, they are far from that. In terms of Facebook, just because the privacy settings are turned all the way to the maximum private settings, doesn’t mean all your information is secure to just your friends, networks or yourself.

Every hallway has a camera, just like every social media site has hackers. People mistake Facebook to be a private site and only those who have a Facebook profile can view someone else’s, but people agree within the Terms of Agreement, (you know that long thing that you have to click ‘agree’ on to proceed) that they are allowing Facebook to store their information with everything they post. And just because you delete a post does not mean it goes way forever. Afterall, the Library of Congress has been saving all tweets that have been tweeted since 2010.

My tweets, your neighbor’s tweets and Ryan Gosling’s tweets will all become part of the archives within the Library of Congress. Now that’s creepy and also a bit odd.

But how else will our nation preserve history, since it seems the majority doesn’t seem to keep a journal anymore? Yet, I might be one of the few that still has a Paris-themed journal that I carry with me everywhere. Everyone communicates easily through phone calls, texts, emails or webcams. Not many people still send snail-mail or even keep a journal to record all the ongoings of their days. Looking ahead what legacy will we leave behind, our Facebook? WordPress or Tumblr blogs today act as what would be a journal to people 30 years ago.

The people in the world are being watched constantly in what we do, a tweet  or picture post online. What will your next move be?

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