ARE YOU BEING WATCHED?

This is an English language lesson taking a look at privacy.

The keywords of the lesson are, as usual, highlighted in bold for learning and practice.

We are forever aware that we are being watched.

But who is watching us and why?

The basic premise is that everyone is entitled to privacy in their daily life.

Our private life is our own affair and not for public consumption if we are law-abiding citizens.

Such privacy should be beyond the snooping lenses of photographers, the investigative mind of a story-seeking journalist, a nosy neighbour or a distrusting family relative.

As children, we are watched over by angels from above, by our parents and guardians, babysitters, nannies and other carers, religious and community do-gooders.

As we grow older, we become aware of armed forces, police, private security personnel and vigilantes who all play a role in watching over us for our security and protection.

Wherever we go in our towns and cities, there are surveillance cameras in place everywhere.

Inside shopping malls, outside public toilets, in schools and the workplace, at traffic lights.  We even install them to our homes and inside our motor vehicles.

All right, we know they are there for the prevention of crime such as attacks, bank robberies and shoplifting but they are watching us nevertheless.

We might all feel a sense of paranoia if we know we are being watched and even if we do not know.  That is spying plain and simple.

A criminal can easily build up a detailed profile of a persons lifestyle with the intent of burgling their home when they are out (or even when they are at home sleeping), stealing their car or emptying their bank account online.

We have all watched movies such as James Bond where the spying can be done by a contrapcion or device, not always done in person.  They can be very difficult to detect.

What about voyeurs?

The French coined phrase refers to the folk who are viewing you for personal pleasure and sexual gratification than for a legitimate purpose.  In public toilets, hotel rooms, car parks, even in your own house or car.

What of the Peeping Tom?  Someone who intrudes upon your privacy by peeping or spying on you from a distance.

There are those among us of extrovert nature who are attention-seeking and enjoy the thrill of being watched.  You would say that of professional entertainers such as actors, magicians, comedians and circus performers who are in the public eye and for whom being watched is part of the job.

Whoever Big Brother is, we are constantly reminded that Big Brother is there.

So the question remains – Who is watching us?

Aliens perhaps from another planet and universe.

Might you well wonder!

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