Facebook, Twitter, a Trump presidency — are we living in Orwellian times, as American citizens head towards a downward spiral under the leadership of their newly elected leader and social media is in control of the content of our lives?
We post our hopes, dreams, personal timelines and whereabouts without giving a second thought about the consequences of our actions. Social media has become our diaries, our deepest, darkest secrets for the whole world to see and manipulate. And, there’s a new president in the U.S. with a questionable set of goals and ambitions (even more so, it seems, than other world leaders), while his and other governments across the globe bring back the notion of the fictional fears of the Thought Police, the Ministry of Truth and Newspeak. The words and phrases “double-think,” “thoughtcrime,” and “reality control” come to mind and are an eerie reminder from one of the greatest novels ever written, “The Party told you to reject evidence of your eyes and ears.”
The term“Orwellian” has been defined as a narrative or prophesy of events caused by political manipulation. Another definition states “Orwellian” is a bureaucracy that has become stupid and turns on its citizens to protect its stupidity and is also used to describe coded language and terms with multiple meanings used by governments or media. Big Brother is watching, but it always has.
According to Biography, George Orwell was an English novelist, essayist, and critic and his novels “Animal Farm” and “1984” remain as prevalent today, as in the 1940s. It has been said Orwell created some of the sharpest satirical fiction of the 20th century and he was a man of strong opinions, who addressed some of the major political movements of his time — including imperialism, fascism and communism.
Orwell’s novel “1984” was a “bleak vision of the world divided into three oppressive nations” and it stirred up controversy, that’s for sure, and still does. Many reviewers found his fictional future too despairing. Orwell foreshadowed what would happen if the government controlled every detail of a person’s life, even their own private thoughts.
Do you hear that Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms?
Other fictional tales have provided us with warnings of dystopian societies on the verge of becoming a reality, ever so slowly, creeping up into the “norm.”
Hunger games, death races, and many other fictional warnings are prophesies to a society that could be — when governments lean on the idea of “absolute conformity.”
Orwell’s story has been said to be, “that of a totalitarian future society.” Thanks to our reliance on social media and technology to make things easier and questionably better and the election of leaders in society that seem to have a few screws loose and are moments from coming off the rails on the crazy train — the Ministry of Truth, the Thought Police and thoughtcrimes could be just around the corner.