Thursday, 24 April 2014

Who's listening to you and watching you?


This suspected 'Banksy' image appeared recently in our town. It's controversial in that it begs the question 'who's listening to you?' and 'what do they know about you?'

On the one hand you could say that the government having some of our details to hand is a matter of public security and one which we all value. But on the other hand, when the latest government department HMRC is thinking of selling our tax details to private companies some of us might think this is a step too far.

This whole current issue of communication v privacy is one that affects us as writers too. We all need Twitter, Google and Facebook etc. and other public forums in order to publicise our image and our various articles, novels, poems etc. in the hope of reaching a wider audience and adding to our following. On the other hand, these social networks have been seen to be extremely damaging at their worst even though helpful and affirming at their best - I guess showing the best and worst of human nature. People have been devastated by comments on the social media networks and in the very worst cases it has even led to them taking their lives. What is the answer? Difficult. I know that my Facebook account is largely only open to friends and acquaintances or known writers. But if you do this what about the very popular Facebook professional page that every writer is encouraged to have? It's a real dilemma and one without an easy answer.

However, I do know one who can be totally trusted with all knowledge about me. Why? Because I know that he only has my best interests at heart because he made me and loves me. I would encourage you to take a fresh look at Psalm 139 in the Bible - God who knows our every thought, every action, understands and loves us like no one else. Isn't that a comfort on the knowledge super highway?

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