As writers and readers, we love to experience a sense of fear. But it’s a different story living in a culture of fear.
We recently moved into a new town, and I immediately noticed how security-conscious the people seem. The email welcoming us to the neighborhood included an attachment with an update on local crimes. There seemed to be a lot of property crime going on. In one incident, a young woman and her father had interrupted a burglary. The intruders tied them up and held them both at gunpoint for hours.
After reading that report, I started getting more interested in the notion of home security. First I made sure we’d covered all the the standard bases of crime prevention–keeping property lights on, having a dog, never leaving doors or windows unlocked. Our alarm system was obsolete, so I met with a series of security consultants from various alarm companies.
That’s when I began to go overboard. We needed motion detectors, I decided, plus interior and exterior video surveillance. (If someone burgles our house, by golly I want to see the guy so I can identify him.)
So now our house is bristling with cutting edge, high-tech security gear. We have a video monitor that lets us see various angles of the property. At night, the displays are infrared. (So far the only intruder we’ve caught is our male cat on the prowl for a midnight treat.) We even have panic buttons on our key fobs.
Now I’m thinking I went too far with the whole security thing. I’ve become a regular listener to the police scanner frequency. Then there are all the alerts. Our system lets me know whenever someone approaches our front gate. It also alerts me whenever a bird, butterfly, or errant leaf passes by. I’m collecting an impressive video library of local wildlife.
|MacGregor, fearsome watchdog.|
Does the new system make us feel more secure? For me, it’s had the opposite effect. Putting in all these security contraptions has actually made feel more vulnerable. It’s illogical, but I felt safer in my previous state of uninformed bliss.
But for now, woe unto any Luna moth who strays across our portal after dark. He better smile for that camera.
|“Do you feel lucky, Moth?”|
Do you live in a culture of fear? Or do you still have that lovely sense of being immune from danger as you go about your daily life? I wish I had that back.