George Orwell, born Eric Blair in 1903, wrote the chilling futuristic book 1984. The book is set in the year 1984 and its prophetic message is coming true in the twenty-first century. As Orwell was writing 1984 in 1948, television was just emerging from the developmental hiatus forced upon the broadcasting industry by World War II. Many people were worried, in the late 1940's and early 1950's, about what this new medium would be, how it would function, how much control over its watchers it would create. Orwell's own concerns about the future development of television are reflected in 1984's telescreens, which broadcast an endless barrage of Party propaganda, but also act as transmitters as well, enabling the Party to exercise the total surveillance it required (Fitzpatrick).
Technology is used as a measuring stick for how advanced we are. One could say that the human race is more advanced than animals because of the technology that it has. Technology is a great thing, but it can also be used for controlling people. In the book 1984, George Orwell gives one a great view of the possible horrors that could come out of technology when it's used for the purpose of control. In this book, the telescreen is an instrument of technology that is used for this purpose. The two main functions of the telescreen are surveillance and propaganda. The telescreens are devices like televisions that are placed everywhere in Oceania and project images and announcements controlled by the Party. It's a useful tactic made by the Party because they are able to show or say anything they want on these telescreens to manipulate people to their liking. It is like a constant commercial by the same company. The telescreen and its purpose are described in the book 1984 in explicit detail: The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard.