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George Orwell’s prophetic nightmare “1984” warns the modern era about technology and society through his vision of a truly dystopian world. Despite Orwell writing the novel in 1949, his predictions are becoming increasingly true, whether that be how society will think and act, how technology will always be around us and ultimately watching us, and how we will live in a world where there is a ‘Big Brother’.

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A major prediction of Orwell’s novel is the use of media and literature and using these tools to manipulate the critical thinking of people and control them in general. One of Orwell’s astute observations about the so-called- society in 1984 is how the media influences people. Much like today, everyone is somewhat influenced by what we see on television. A monumental moment where television influenced society was when nine-eleven occurred. When that devastating event occurred, it was all over the news, from morning till midnight, a lot of people saw it on the news, but the audience watching the news constantly and hearing what the news reporters said about it heavily influenced the audience’s mind, (cough cough fox news) leading people to believe that every Muslim was basically a terrorist. Isn’t that similar to Orwell’s dystopian world? The media is used to shape the citizens of Oceania’s minds, it is used to morph their beliefs, critical thinking, and self-expression. Making them work as machines.

Now, (in my opinion) the scariest prediction that Orwell presented in his novel “1984” is the factor of “Big Brother”. The “Big Brother” described in George Orwell’s ‘1984’ is that it is the face of the party in control of Oceania, the supreme ruler, a war hero, etc. Big Brother can be described as an image, used to instill a sense of fear and loyalty in society. Big Brother can also be described as everywhere and everything, this can be said due to Big Brother being seen on items such as the currency, on the walls of the streets in the forms of paintings and/or posters, and even the telescreen in your own home. But that’s not all, Although Big Brother is displayed at these places/ items, the slogan “Big Brother is watching you” will always be next to it. Well, how is this related to the present time? As time moves on, new technology is being developed, even at this moment. As technology progresses, surveillance and control of higher powers also progress. Let me explain it as precisely as I can. Let’s use an example, although it may be false, let’s use the common device that is well known, The iPhone. As the software upgrades, as the camera upgrades, wouldn’t you think that controlled organizations will also progress, whether that is surveillance, data collection, or just overall control? At the end of the day, they can just simply hack in, or invade your camera, (due to it not only working via hardware but also due to hardware) and just look through your camera, controlled organizations can also look at your screen. They can monitor what you have searched, emails, passwords, and even your own private photo gallery. Isn’t this similar to “1984”’s big brother? The constant monitorisation, having the ability to search through your privacy, know exactly how you are feeling and how you are thinking, and ultimately know your whole life better than you.

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