The hacking and publishing on the internet of a number of celebrities’ private photos has revealed more than these stars’ naughty bits. The incident has brought into the open the truth about modern
Where once laws, censorship and peer pressure helped us keep our baser impulses in check, these days we’re on our own. Social network managers and even the FBI may try to control our access to these stolen pictures but the fact is, if we want to, we can find them.
In the modern world, we don’t even expect to tell other people what to do. Complaining about strong language or sex or violence in a TV programme seems almost quaint in a time when you can watch what you want when you want- or not.
If You Want It, You Can Have It
Looked at positively, we have become a more tolerant society, letting almost everything pass us by as long it doesn’t interfere with our own life. Looked at negatively, those who remain intolerant of different taste or behaviour can now be express themselves in the most foul way. Previously they held insulting remarks in check because they would have to be expressed face to face or in green ink in a letter that needed posting. Now someone can use a social network to anonymously threaten to rape an MP because she supports having Jane Austen on a banknote.
Just as there are caveman parts of our brain that haven’t caught up with our civilised life, we have 20th century habits that haven’t caught up with the internet age. For the last few generations, we have been a consumer society. We have been taught that if we want something, we can have it. But those things were what manufacturers pushed at us. The internet changed that.
As a marketer I am delighted that I no longer have to push messages at unwilling recipients. I can offer my wares and let people ‘pull’ out what they were interested in. Truly targeted interactive marketing builds up good relationships between consumer and supplier.
Some marketers haven’t learnt yet. I was fascinated to see that the Sky News iPhone app which used to be so popular now has the lowest possible rating because so many users hate the amount of ads it pushes at them. And of course they can choose to delete the app which many are.
It’s Your Moral Choice
The choices the internet has given us extend well beyond shopping and media. You are responsible for your own moral choices.
‘Pulling’ things into our lives that we know are wrong used to be quite difficult, now it can done in secret without moving from our computer. All that stops us now is our own self censorship.
It’s easy to click the button that brings nude celebrity photos to our screen but it’s our choice. There is no person, agency or God stopping us. Just as when we see an empty car with the engine running, we don’t have to drive it away.
You might even kid yourself that they’re celebrities and that these attention hungry women are getting what they deserve. You might say it wasn’t you that hacked the photos. But, if you know it’s wrong, are you any better than the thieves who stole them in the first place?
This blog was written by Paul Lewis, owner of the Winchester based marketing consultancy Seven Experience. You can connect with him on Google+ and LinkedIn. A version appeared on the Daily Echo website.