Courtesy of Flickr user [peapodsquadmom](

Courtesy of Flickr user peapodsquadmom.

Are you under the impression that the Elf on the Shelf is nothing more than a beloved, although admittedly creepy, Christmas toy? Well it’s time to WAKE UP, SHEEPLE! That elf is actually helping to normalize the idea of an Orwellian surveillance state among our children. Or at least that’s what Canadian digital technology professor Laura Pinto believes.

As the following video explains, the Elf on the Shelf is a toy that parents hide around the home in order to help keep tabs on their children’s behavior for Santa:

And while it might seem harmless, Pinto and others think it may be teaching our children to blindly accept the idea of being monitored.

“I don’t think the elf is a conspiracy and I realize we’re talking about a toy,” Pinto told the Washington Post. “It sounds humorous, but we argue that if a kid is okay with this bureaucratic elf spying on them in their home, it normalizes the idea of surveillance and in the future restrictions on our privacy might be more easily accepted.”

On the one hand, maybe Pinto has a point. Perhaps it’s not a good idea to teach kids to blindly let a snitch into their home to keep tabs on subversive behavior. But on the other hand, the whole idea of Santa Claus, a guy who magically sees us when we’re sleeping and knows when we’re awake, has been around a lot longer than the Elf on the Shelf. And children raised with the threat of Santa’s omnipresent gaze managed to grow up without becoming cogs in the state surveillance machine, right?

Oh. Never mind.

(Source: The Washington Post, Policy Alternatives)