In 1984 the people of Oceania are constantly under surveillance. The thought police have many different ways of watching you. They use telescreens, if you have children they are trained to watch you, so are neighbors and coworkers, no where is private, you are always being watched. Can you imagine what that's like? Never to have any privacy, no where you can go to just be alone. In 1984 it says "Winston set his face in an expression of optimism". You can't even let your face show what you feel or the thought police will catch you. The party admits that they watch the citizens "Big Brother is watching you" and it's true, but Big Brother isn't the only one, he's got all sorts of people behind him.
Here in Canada we feel safe. No one's watching us, are they? We are free to think and do what we want, right? I used to think so, but now I'm not so sure. You see we are being watched and influenced, the difference is that the way in which these things are being done to us is more subtle. Have you ever been watching TV when suddenly it's interrupted by a commercial, yes I know you have, that is a form of persuasion, influencing what you think. As for the surveillance thing, next time you're at the mall look around and count the number of security cameras. If the government thinks you may be a threat to national security they can watch you and follow you. In the US they have started implanting chips in people. Chips with all their information, all their numbers, everything about them. The way in which they sell the idea to people is first by putting these chips in pets then telling people it's safer for them to have the chip, that it will save them from identity theft and things of that sort. I think it's really creepy. So you see the way in which we are observed is different and not as extreme as the society in 1984, but there are still people watching us.