It’s way past Orwell’s 1984 so we might expect some miracles of modern technology to invade our lives but some things I’ve seen lately take it to a whole new level and frankly it’s a little disturbing. Big Brother has made his way to my bedroom.
A few months ago I was diagnosed with a fairly significant case of sleep apnea. In short that means I stop breathing quite frequently as I sleep. Because my kids started teasing me about snoring about 25 years ago I suspect it has been happening since then but recent frustration with a variety of annoying ailments led me to search for answers. This is the one which arose.
After the two most annoying sleeps of my lifetime they determined I need a fancy air machine and how to set it for my best results. Now I don’t have to sleep with wires on like I did at the sleep lab but have a sort of harness which wraps around my head and holds a little cup on my nose. It is attached to a machine which pushes air into my lungs all night and has enough pressure to keep the airways open so they will no longer collapse every few minutes causing me to stop breathing.
It is a magical machine and has increased my level of deep sleep. In time it will also help alleviate some of the symptoms which accompany the disorder, including constantly feeling tired, constant pain, weight gain, depression, high sugar, high blood pressure …and the list goes on.
All this wonder aside there is one thing about this magical machine which has me a little dismayed if not disturbed. It seems there is a computer chip which records information about my sleep patterns and somehow (I suspect via WiFi) sends signals through the air and allows a computer somewhere to record all it knows about my sleep patterns. It cannot hold a candle to Santa. Not only does it know if I am sleeping but also records the number of times I stop breathing (events), whether the mask is sealed properly and if I am breathing through my mouth. I can’t get away with anything as long as that machine is on.
My darling partner has had a similar experience lately but his is with hearing aids. They also send information to some computer in the sky but his is about what sort of noise environment he is in and whether or not he turns the volume up or down. It then takes that data and makes adjustments to the device so it will learn to turn itself up and down depending on the noise environment. I’m sure it would know a great deal more about his movement and could prove more valuable than Dick Tracey, if he actually wore the things.
So who is watching you?