I found myself in a North Norfolk pub a couple of weeks ago.
I confess that there is nothing strange about that, in itself, but what followed filled me with surprise and bewilderment.
I was participating in a photoshoot with rock photographer Nick Elliott and Scottish hit makers The Marmalade when poor weather stopped play and forced us to take refuge in the rural drinking establishment.
The images were a crucial part of a fabulous new project the band were involved in to produce a collection of promotional products including a CD, DVD, limited edition book and a vinyl record, consequently, waiting for perfect weather conditions for the location shoot was imperative.
I wasn’t aware of anything out of the ordinary as far as our behaviour, or appearance, was concerned that day but that isn’t necessarily how others see you and en route to the next destination I received notification of a comment on my blog.
The comment was from someone I didn’t have any knowledge of and read: “Unless my eyes deceived me, I think I ‘had’ lunch with you, Nick Elliott and some of…the Marmalade.”
To say I was surprised was an understatement. A similar comment being made on my clients’ websites would have made complete sense but I don’t think that I can ever claim to be living in the ‘public eye’ or to have been ‘recognised’ by a total stranger.
After some investigation I discovered that it was frighteningly easy for the commentator to track me down with a little detective work from our conversation in the pub.
Recently, there has been considerable controversy around surveillance by third parties in both the UK, and abroad, and whether it is ethically right to store our personal information and online conversations.
I suspect, however, that we are actually already living in a ‘big brother’ society. But in this society we are the surveyors, participating in online searches automatically and demanding that our thirst for information be quenched instantly at the click of a mouse or the tap of a screen.
Perhaps big brother is, in fact, already watching you…and me….