Watch Aaron in the film Holy Wars

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Big Aaron is watching you!

It is official. I have finally joined the 21st century. This week, after hundreds of e-mails sent directly from my gmail and yahoo address books, I have sent out my first e-mail yesterday using Constant Contact, an e-mail marketing service. No longer do I have to update my contact list one by one deleting out of date e-mail addresses. I can now do it all with the click of a button.

Not only can I know how many of my e-mails have been opened, I can also know who has opened them ... who has not. Feeling a bit like Big Brother (or George Bush depending on your political persuasion), I decided to take a peak at the list of those who actually opened the e-mail I sent out yesterday. Thank you Craig.

I don't know about you, but I think all this is a little creepy. Think about it. I, Aaron Taylor, know what you did in your living room, basement, or bedroom (depending on where your computer is) or didn't do. I'm not sure what to respond now when people say to me, "Hey Aaron, I read your latest update." Should I respond with, "Yes. I know?" Or maybe I can use this as leverage with friends and family. Um...excuse me aunt so and so, I'd really like to know why you don't bother reading my updates? Are you too busy? I guess I'll consider that next time you ask me to come to the next family event.

On second thought, spying on my readers might not be such a good idea. I think it's best that I don't know who actually opens my e-mails. I'd rather leave it to my imagination. Besides, I have an excellent extended family really like going to reunions even if the sum of the conversations are usually "So, what have you been doing for the past year?"

Does anybody else think the concept of privacy is being lost in our culture? I can be goofing around with friends at Six Flags and some 14-year old kid can take a video on their cell-phone and, before you know it, I could be a star on U-Tube without even knowing it. Perhaps I say something totally stupid and insensitive (a rare occurence I hope) and, before I have the chance to grab the words and put them back in my mouth, millions of people can know about my faux pas.

Here is another question to think about. Is the concept of privacy a Biblical one? Most Americans assume that privacy is a basic human right. Is this assumption correct? To what extent? Besides the obvious moral injunction to not be a Peeping Tom, what does the Bible have to say about the concept of privacy? This is something I haven't given much thought. I'd love to hear my readers' thoughts on this matter. And as you type, remember.....Big Aaron is watching you!!!


toby said...

great topic, aaron. i also love the way you closed this article.

funny thing, i've been talking with some people from a satellite imaging company about a job. so big brother may be my boss soon (if the Lord wills it).

i've never thought about privacy from a biblical perspective. can't think of anything at the moment, but i may kick it around a bit.

as far as videos getting out on the net, yeah, we're in a new age. one passage that i'm thinking of is in romans where paul says that the government is put in place by God for the good of the citizens. yes, the government is quite fallable, but look at it this way. if someone is watching me and i'm abiding by the laws, what do i have to fear? so a guy 5000 miles away saw me pick my nose. who cares? if you're very against it, move to montana. if you want to live in a city, get over it or shutup.

although sometimes i am against the motivation for public surveillance [COUGH trafficcamerastopaythesalariesofunneccesaryauthorityofficialsCOUGH].

Aaron D. Taylor said...

Thank you for your thoughts on this matter. I haven't been able to find much in the Bible on the topic of privacy. It must not be something the Biblical authors were concerned with.

Anyone else have something to contribute to the discussion?

Paul said...

Um, excuse me Aaron... I opened your email! Check your little program.


I'll have to think about the privacy thing. I had to admit, all of my points are currently based on personal opionion. I tend to side with Toby... privacy isn't something that's even necessarily gauranteed by law. Biblically-speaking... hmm. I don't know yet.

Paul said...

*have to admit*

Shut up Pete.

Pete said...

Only beat me to it by like 30 seconds. Dang!
The end of your response might be one of my favorite things I've ever read.
I can't really find much on the issue. The only thing I can think of is that all of the publicity opens up the world to more irreverent judgement which is not helpful to anybody, but I think I'm with the other guys on this one- It's all just my opinion when it comes to privacy issues.

Joseph Craig said...

Its true the issue of privacy is spoken very little of in the bible and whats even more odd is its not spoke of at all in the constitution and the bill of rights. Instead privacy is actually presented as what the gov can or can not do to citizens. How about that for a new way of thinking about privacy? I hope it makes some sense. Also Aaron I have just started reading some work by N.T. Wright and wow! The dude is amazing and from what i can tell from some of his writings he would think that the apostles and early church would not think much of this topic. I like his work so far.