Voyeurism used to be one of those one of those guilty, hidden pleasures. Whether it was granny spending her days peering out at the neighbours from behind the living room curtains, or the peeping tom skulking about in the shrubbery, no one would ever admit to surreptitiously spying on others. However all that has changed and voyeurism has now gone mainstream.
Like all-seeing, all-knowing gods, we can now watch other people’s lives unfold in complete privacy and with absolutely no risk of being torn up by those pesky rosebushes in front of the bedroom window. Everyone’s life is now on display and we are taking advantage. There’s no need to check out what’s at the back of the sock drawer to find out what your teenaged children are up to, just look at their Face book profiles. But be warned, you may find out more than you ever wanted to know. Ever wondered what your neighbour does for a living? Google him and you can find out not only where he works and what he does, but also his salary, marital status, and what he does for fun.
And now the latest “advance” in socially acceptable voyeurism has been implemented by none other than Google itself. Their latest application, Blogger Play, displays a steady stream of pictures that Blogger users are uploading to their blogs in real time. As they say in the promotional write-up, the resulting slide show is “... fun, often beautiful, but above all, compelling. We couldn’t stop watching.” And they’re right – you can’t stop watching. Photos of drunken dorm parties are interspersed with baby pictures being uploaded for sharing with the grandparents. Tough-guy muscle poses compete for attention with beautiful scenic views. Pictures of old motorcycle restoration projects fade out to be replaced by the smiling face of a teenager posing with her new car. Amateur art mixes it up with “Free Burma” posters. The range is endless, and fascinating. And if you really want to know more, simply click on the picture and you will be transported to that person’s blog where you might find more items of similar interest. Voyeur heaven!
Why spend time in your own life when there are so many more to share?