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Monday, January 20, 2014

Somebody’s Watchin’ You

Somebody’s Watchin’ You

Certainly you’ve heard the song, and you might even know the lyrics by heart:  “Somebody’s Watching Me.”  The song is by Rockwell:
I'm just an average man
With an average life
I work from nine to five
Hey, ****, I pay the price
All I want is to be left alone
In my average home
But why do I always feel
Like I'm in the twilight zone
And (I always feel like)
(Somebody's watching me)
And I have no privacy
Are the neighbors watching me
Well, is the mailman watching me
And I don't feel safe anymore
Oh, what a mess
I wonder who's watching me now
The IRS?

The lyrics also ask, “Am I just paranoid?” No, I don’t think so. Witness the recent story in Fast Company magazine titled, "Can Performance Be Quantified? Wearable Tech In The Office." (see:

Notes the article, “Companies from Hitachi to Walt Disney World resort are using wearable tech to track staff and improve collaboration and customer service, according to a report by management researcher H. James Wilson.” Apparently companies such as The Container Store like these devices to help track sales people’s performance in the areas of communications with other staff and shoppers. Promoters of these devices also claim they help improve innovation by getting more team inclusion in what’s happening around the company.

Then there’s the argument that a workplace personality who is said to be uncooperative or consistently unpleasant can be monitored and adjustments made to save his or her job. So it’s a new tool to observe “personality metrics.” Since participation would be voluntary, the candidates for wearable tech must be convinced the devices are to help and not punish them for bad performance.

Thinking back on the work zones in which I’ve been employed, there are MANY conversations between coworkers that one would NOT want recorded. Then there are comments made by sales people when not in the presence of the customer. Oh boy. And how about a little reverse fun? Can the employees get a dose of those private management conversations, or is this likely just a one way street of accountability? I’m guessing here.

Most people are unaware how much of their lives is under observation. Those little cameras are everywhere. My wife and I enjoy watching the show Person of Interest (on CBS). That’ll make you paranoid! And it’s now no secret that government has a TON more eyes on you than we’ve been told.

Now here’s the question: what does this say about our human condition if our behavior improves ONLY to make ourselves look good in front of others? Truth is you really ARE being watched in everything you say and do. Everything.

Jesus made it clear: God’s eye really IS on the sparrow. Read Matthew, chapter 10. Here’s an excerpt: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

Ideally, our knowledge that “somebody’s watching me” ought to remind us to live as we should. The knowledge that God is watching should challenge us to an even higher standard.  His metrics are the ones by which we are measured most for eternity.

As for all those other "watchers," well, I hope my mailman has better things to do.  And, by the way, where IS my mail?

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