The world was now transparent, except for everywhere that mattered.
An agreement was struck ten years ago: all data collected on all individuals would be public knowledge forever. Anyone could look up any information about anyone and learn whatever small thing they needed to know, like how often they buy toothpaste, or how long, on average, their relationships last. All recorded (online or otherwise) conversations would be readable and searchable for everyone. Privacy settings were a thing of the past.
It was supposed to be the great equalizer. No more secrets. No more risks. It was the closest thing to reading other people’s minds. Those who sought out any method to silence their online information, no matter how trivial, were punished, and publicly shamed. Except, after a while, there was so much information about everyone that people stopped caring about each other. It was like a new Enlightenment, when people stopped caring what God thought–except now it was people.
But, despite all efforts to assure the public that politicians and the 1% were just as transparent as everyone else, whisleblowers proved them wrong. They were hiding things. And they got away with it, time and time again.
I just wanted to live in an opaque world again. “Living off the grid” is an old joke now, but it’s still possible. I had to smash my phone, change my appearance, and frequently cover my tracks, just to ensure all the cameras and phones and everything that followed me around wouldn’t be able to find where I was going.
The country. A thing of the past. Agriculture became automated, so open fields were more populated by robots than people. Robots that would be recording their operations. I had to avoid even them.
To the mountains, then. An anonymous hill shadowed by a more famous mountain–somewhere quiet, untrod on. I drove to a road about fifty miles from where I knew I ultimately wanted to end up, pulled over, and removed my survival gear from the trunk. Nothing computerized, nothing with online capabilities–not even anything with batteries. Just some tools to keep me alive.
I looked up in the sky. It was getting late–the stars were out. So many of them moved across the sky, some blinking. Satellites. Watching me.
Throwing on my camouflage poncho, I entered the woods and tried to get out of sight of the ever-watching eyes. I was not made of glass. I was made of earth, wood, and stone.
You couldn’t see through me.
Today’s three random writing prompt categories were, “Countryside,” “Complete transparency,” and, “Trunk.”
Sadly, this is probably where we’re headed.