Feeling pretty good – I think I did pretty well on the exam, and OH MY LORD does it feel good to know I’ll never sit another one again!
Out of the three topics I wrote about, I had already written essays on two during the semester. And then there was the NZ section. I toyed with writing about the 1987 stockmarket crash, or the privatisation of Telecom, but in the end I chose privacy and surveillance. Privacy was my topic of choice for a couple of reasons: there wasn’t a lot of theory to learn, and it genuinely interested me. And the more relevant a subject is for me, the better I’m going to do. Simple.
I suppose on the face of it, NZ isn’t all that bad. We don’t have extensive CCTV on the streets like in London. Our credit files are pretty sparse in comparison to the States, where it’s reported to credit bureaus every month whether you pay your bills on time, and health insurance companies know every minutiae of your medical history.
There was apparently a huge ruckus in the 90s when they introduced photographs onto driver’s licences. Honestly, I never even knew there was a time when licences didn’t bear photos and were merely printed on paper. Photos? We don’t even bat an eye. Where would most of us young’uns be without them? Our licences are our primary forms of ID. If you don’t have one, you can’t get into bars/clubs/pubs unless you want to buy a HANZ 18plus card, and in that case you might as well pay to sit your learner’s.
How much do you value anonymity? I can’t put an amount to it. I’m definitely becoming more aware of what details I dispense, and to who. I’m becoming more discerning of what I post online and how I conduct myself IRL, especially anything that might be recorded. if I’m going to be working in the media industry, it’s only wise.
But at the same time, anonymity seems to be a concept that’s becoming more and more antiquated. Nowadays you have to market yourself. Selling yourself might mean establishing a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (how sick am I of seeing those three names bandied around together???) and more. Off the top of my head, a really good example is Julia Allison. She basically lives her whole life in the social media spotlight. It’s not something I’d like for myself, but she strove for this and she’s achieved it.
The older you get, the more you have to reveal about yourself. Applying for loans. Applying for jobs. Applying to university. Even applying for a place to live! I remember looking at places last year. One agency in particular had a heinously long application form which required income, source of income, and even bank account number (and that was a big firm too!!) – can you say dodgy? I’m not sure what, if anything, they could do with your bank account number, but I certainly was not comfortable disclosing that. There are some things I’m comfortable giving out, but that was out of line.