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Living the Orwellian Nightmare: New Media and Digital Dystopia

E-Learning and Digital Media Volume 11, Number 6, ISSN 2042-7530


This article offers an academic critique of new media culture, as viewed comparatively with George Orwell's "1984." The author makes the argument that a number of plot elements of "1984" are reflected within contemporary Western societies. The assertion is made that these parallels have developed as a consequence of new media technologies. An over-arching position is taken that real-world governments have utilised new media technologies in ways that make themselves comparable to Orwell's fictional "Big Brother". The author begins by describing the socio-political landscape at the time Orwell wrote the novel. The next section addresses recent examples of ways in which government agencies have used new media technologies as a surveillance tool. The author posits that the US government uses new media technology as a propaganda tool. Through use of new media, the USA attempts to limit the ability of people to reject its narratives. In the final section, the author details the ways in which new media technologies are contributing to the destruction of language and knowledge. The author's concluding argument is that the negative effects of new media technology can only be ameliorated through critical thought.


Diglin, G. (2014). Living the Orwellian Nightmare: New Media and Digital Dystopia. E-Learning and Digital Media, 11(6), 608-618. Retrieved March 31, 2020 from .

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