I need to stop meeting people from the Internet.

Settle down kids, it’s story time, and then we’ll get into some questions.

I was seeing this guy for a little while, and he seemed completely normal (we met online, but let’s not get into that can of worms just yet). We’d been seeing each other for 8 weeks or so, and were driving to dinner when he casually said, “So you know those ISIS beheading videos?”

Obviously the story goes downhill from here.
**I should tell you, as subtext/background information, I’m a vegetarian. Because I don’t like the idea of animals being in pain. He knows this. So I’m still not sure why he thought the following conversation would go well. Maybe because I work part time in retail and that makes me generally not the biggest fan of people? Who knows. Regardless, on with the story. 

He went on to tell me that prior to picking me up, he went online and watched 30 or so of these beheading videos on some Islamic website. When I said something about that being a silly thing to do, because it just gives them what they want at the end of the day, he said “How does my watching those videos affect anything?”

I chose not to go after that lead-in.

Then he said something along the lines of,  “You know, those guys really have the right idea at the end of the day. As far as the whole, ‘eye for an eye’ mentality goes. We should really use the death penalty for everyone convicted of murder.”

My response; “But you can’t prove that someone has done something, even if they’re convicted or they confess, so it’s not really ethical to use it on every single case.”

His reply; “I think technology is heading in that direction though, I’d say within 10 years we’ll be able to!”

Me; “If that happens we won’t have any privacy!”

My immediate thought after that came out of my mouth was, “Oh good god, what would Adrian say in this conversation?”

Disclaimer: I’m leaving some things out, nothing crucial, just bits in between where I tried to make my point and he tried to make his, and later there was some debate about his belief in natural selection and his subsequent belief that we shouldn’t have healthcare. But I’ve given you enough to understand my point, I think. 

The point in my writing this isn’t to discuss the problems of watching those videos, or of media outlets showing stills from them (which irks me, but not the point), or even about the death penalty. I decided to post this to my blog for the class because of that scary privacy issue.

In symposium we’ve talked about the issue of privacy online and whether we’ve given up our privacy and whatnot. And on the other side of that, there’s the stories lately about iCloud hacking and NSA spying, and our privacy being taken from us rather than us giving it away. We post such intimate details of our lives online, from what we ate for breakfast to ‘after sex selfies’. So would we, as a society, be okay with technology moving forward to a point that it could be proved, without a doubt, that you had done something?  I really don’t think we would be. To me, someone who doesn’t commit crimes and who generally doesn’t have much to hide, I still don’t want everything I ever do or say stored in some database like the iCloud (hypothetically) waiting to be hacked, distorted and  potentially used against me in a court of law. Maybe I’m cynical, but I don’t trust anyone enough to have that kind of information about my life. Not even my mama (she says in her adorable and not at all obnoxious American twang).

So, what do you think about my story time? Would you be okay with that level of privacy invasion? Do you think the world would be a better or worse place with something like that in place?

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