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The Current State Of Technology and Surveillance Insights In the Book '1984'


1984 is a dystopian book that was written by George Orwell. In this book, Orwell shows readers the story of Winston Smith, who lives in the fictional country Oceania. There are telescreens everywhere with the words "Big Brother is Watching You" on them. Suspicious of the system, Winston Smith and his girlfriend Julia are caught while searching for people like them, and their resistance and thoughts are destroyed through various torturing methods. In this process, we learn about both the perspectives of Oceanian rulers and the methods they use to manage. (Özer, 7) We can say that this country is a dictatorship dominated by the INGSOC party, and led by Big Brother. Communist, totalitarian regime and the disorders brought by the regime have been criticized. Considered as one of the most popular dystopian novels of the 20th century, 1984 tells the story of a society exposed to class discrimination under the dictatorship of the Party and its leader, Big Brother, who is known for his very strict rules in Oceania, which is under the control of a totalitarian and oppressive regime. (Uysal, 6) The lifestyles given in this book and the low quality of life that exists in Oceania make the readers think. The fact that this situation is still maintained and the loyalty of the people there to the party is high, shows that this system is a sustainable system and people can be manipulated effectively by the Party.


With this work, George Orwell has created a work that still maintains its popularity today. In

fact, using the term Orwellian, current situations can be compared to some situations in 1984. (Tavlin, 4) In modern life, we can see the traces of 1984 and people are being watched by states or large companies in order to ensure "Social Control". This is observed by the rulling powers increasingly limit the society's ability to make decisions and think freely through surveillance, and marginalize those who oppose this order. (Sucu, 5) Young people's use of social media and exclusion of people who do not use social media can be given as an example. In today's modern life, societies have become a "surveillance society" by controlling each other. (Gök, 3) A system has been created by people controlling each other and our personal lives are looked at by applications on electronic devices and our personal information and photos are stored in digital media. In addition, when an upheaval occurs, news channels are able to manipulate people in different ways and watch people with drones. (Tavlin, 3) States can also question the surveillance method so that there are crimes against the state by supervising people. This all reveals that modern states can increasingly control and control social life and citizens through new communication technologies. It reveals how citizens are 'isolated from their personalities' and turned into digital bodies in today's world when surveillance has spread to cover the entire lives of a whole society. (Bilişim, 1)


As a result, surveillance has been applied from the past to the present, and this issue was presented to us in a dystopian 1984 work. In the past, the first census took place in China, BC. Edited in 3050. Sumerians, Egyptians (2750 BC), Indians, Ancient Greeks and Romans also made censuses. (Bilişim, 1) taxes were then collected according to this number of people. Examples like this show that they put the society under control and that the control and observations made in the world of 1984 actually indirectly preserves its validity today.


Works Cited

Bilişim, Alternatif. “Türkiye'de Dijital Gözetim: T.C. Kimlik Numarasından E-Kimlik Kartlarına Yurttaşın Sayısal Bedenlenişi.” Kitap, May 2012, ekitap.alternatifbilisim.org/turkiyede-dijital-gozetim/.

Gök, Eren. “Nineteen Eighty-Four and the Surveillance Society.” Lafın Gelişi, 2010, lafgelisi.blogspot.com/2011/09/bindokuzyuzseksendort-ve-gozetim-toplumu.html.

Lyon, David. The Electronic Eye: The Rise of Surveillance Society. Polity Press, 2004.

Tavlin, Noah. “What ‘Orwellian’ Really Means.” Noah Tavlin: What "Orwellian" Really Means | TED Talk, Oct. 2015, www.ted.com/talks/noah_tavlin_what_orwellian_really_means.

Sucu, İ. (2012). GÖZETİM TOPLUMUNUN KARŞI ÜTOPYA YÜZÜ: İKTİDAR GÜÇLERİ VE ÖTEKİLER . Atatürk İletişim Dergisi , (2) , 125-139 . Retrieved from https://dergipark.org.tr/tr/pub/atauniiletisim/issue/2761/36930

Uysal, Başak M. “George Orwell’in 1984’Ü: Toplumsal Değerler Ve Anti̇-Ütopya - Kafkas.” George Orwell’s 1984: Values and Anti-Utopia, Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi Journal of the Institute of Social Sciences, 2012, www.kafkas.edu.tr/dosyalar/sobedergi/file/009/10.pdf.

Özer, Koray. “Big Brother's Secret Diary and the Surveillance Society.” BİLİŞİM DERGİSİ, 4 Mar. 2022, www.bilisimdergisi.org.tr/yazarlar/koray-ozer-seyir-defteri/buyuk-biraderin-big-brother-gizli-guncesi-ve-gozetim-toplumu.html.

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