What could be more persuasive in our everyday digital high-tech world than
the imperatives ―"google!" and (in Facebook-speak) ―"friend!"? Who would
suspect these two hortatory commands that on the one hand urge us to look
for information online, and on the other to join the 800 million active users of
the social networking site Facebook, of opening the arena of ever more
encompassing global surveillance? How can it be that an innocuous mouse
click makes me part of the act of observing while simultaneously allowing for
the condition of being observed? After all, neither my personal Internet search
for knowledge nor the reassurance with which "Facebook helps you connect
and share with the people in your life", as the site asserts, seem to have
anything to do with the proverbial, more sinister Orwellian Big Brother "hard"
surveillance with CCTV cameras, nowadays surreptitiously installed in shops
and on buildings along city streets and public squares.