It was like the Earth itself gasped

The argument for transparency was always that the only people who have something to hide are criminals, liars, and cheats. Sure people do some things in private because they’re embarrassed for others to see them done, but we were assured that that once everyone was revealed we would realize there is nothing to be embarrassed about. As the book says, “everyone poops.”

We were also told that there would so much data that no one would hone in on one person. Even if someone did want to watch a specific person for long periods of time that someone would be doing so knowing that anyone could see what he or she was watching. Knowing that everyone could watch everyone else would deter abuse.

So the transparency movement spread worldwide with overwhelming support. Cameras and tracking devices were everywhere and in everything. And for the most part it was as it had been sold to us.

Smile you're on CCTV sign
Photo credit: Arenamontanus / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Crime was almost completely eliminated. And as promised we realized that those things we used to only do in private are things that nearly everyone else had been doing in private too.

Picking your nose, popping zits, and shaving hair in unflattering places? There was nothing to be ashamed about doing those things on camera when everyone else was too. After some initial self-consciousness people got used to the new transparency.

That’s how it was for most people. It was different for Her.

When the curtains came down and everyone saw everyone else with all their flaws and quirks, Her worst fears were realized. It was quickly apparent that She was not like everyone else. That She was very different.

She was instantly aware of it, then other people became aware of it. More and more people watched Her and tracked Her until She was the most watched and tracked person on earth.

Her friends didn’t understand what She was upset about. “You are like a celebrity,” they said.

In fact, She was The Celebrity.

Most celebrities from the past had lost their luster in a transparent world. It used to exciting to see a “Stars: They’re just like us” picture of a celebrity doing something mundane or unglamorous. Now, everyone could see the mundane parts of celebrity lives all the time. Those images were no longer rare glimpses. That was now the majority of what people saw of celebrities. The glamorous parts were now the rarities. People got bored and largely stopped watching.

But She. She was interesting.

And She hated it. She hated being watched all the time. She tried to alter Her behavior, tried to be more normal, more boring, so that no one would want to watch Her anymore. It was hard though to be something other than Herself all the time. Plus, people wouldn’t let Her.

When She tried to be normal She was flooded with messages, “Be yourself!” On the surface they were supportive, but She knew that these people were just tapping on the glass because they wanted the lion to roar.

She knew this couldn’t go on. She crafted Her plan slowly, so that none of Her billions of viewers would suspect.

Then, She did it. She escaped Her transparent life the only way She could. So many people were watching at the moment She did it that it was like the Earth itself gasped.

She was free.

*    *    *    *    *

This is part of my Fiction Friday series. The other posts can be found here including

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