Is anyone paying attention to the absurdity of this widely accepted, yet warped social media “game” that we are currently participating in and willfully abiding by? Have we lost our ability to critically think about the consequences of our media engagement? Through our involvement and consent, have we forfeited all sense of autonomy, privacy, and sense of self?
We have slid off the slippery slope right into the arms of the captors and fallen off the cliff of reality. The masses gullibly ran in droves right into the trap while disclosing, divulging, and revealing themselves, and mapping their lives. The captors gleefully and strategically have us right where they want us. Was this all part of their master plan?
FaceBook launched on February 4, 2004 as the Lifelog project of DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the Department of Defense’s research department closed. Auspicious timing and creepily coincidental. The Pentagon cancelled the Lifelog project, which was intended as a massive database devised to track your entire existence. Since many start-ups are funded by CIA front agencies, what did we expect?
What has really been the purpose of FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, Twitter, and other prominent social media platforms? Were they really innocently designed as a creative outlet for expression and a free service to connect us socially? Or were they always private companies with ulterior motives, masquerading as a public utility, and established to commodify our lives, monetize our actions, aggressively track our shopping habits, behaviors, trends, preferences, and locations, to control us? Perhaps even predict where we’re headed, including outbreaks, activism efforts, and crises? What happens if, and when, we defect and flee from their pervasive clutch of control?
It’s certainly not a secret we’re being tracked and surveilled as we interact with one another in this corralled ring of communication, interaction, and constant connectivity. After all, we are the ones freely dispensing the digital diary of our lives. Expressing our behaviors, thoughts, opinions, preferences, tendencies, and images, on a blinking neon display for anyone who will bear witness to us, the product.
We’ve become the product within these free services that are embedded with advertising, sponsored ads, paid boosts, and suspicious ads that emerge in your news feed after you had an in-person private conversation about needing a particular product or service.
What are you trading for access to this “free” service to log your life, catalogue your actions, map your locations with “check in”, post what you made for dinner, where you shop and what you buy, photos of your children and pets, an itinerary of who you spend time with, what issues you focus on, updates to your profile picture, photo tags of your closest friends and family, the incessant practice of taking selfies and gifting your biometric data, and infinitely more.
Have we been deceptively co-opted and are we willing participants? Somehow we traded convenience, participation, and connectivity for privacy, freedom, and time, as we yielded our data, our habits, our beliefs, interactions, relationships, choices, and preferences. Is it worth trading your autonomy, privacy, and sense of self, for the hours of time spent scrolling, clicking, liking, following, sharing, and giving yourself and your data away through your tracked digital life map?
The current social media platforms have not only captured our attention with their lustrous technology, but they’ve captured our experiences. They’ve captured us – in their all encompassing, oceanic interNET. And we fell for the bait.
Hook, line, sinker.
Hook, line, — sucker.
Look, realign, — be a thinker!
It’s a ripe and critical time to adjust our social media trajectory, consider the implications for using this technology, and what we are actually trading by using surveillance and “Lifelog” based platforms like FaceBook and Instagram.
Are you ready to be free?
Are you ready to break out and be apart of the vision of building something better?
Join us for an innovative experience on a new platform that was created as a renegade alternative to the shackles of the current social media landscape. Be apart of growing and building this ingenious medium as a solution to ignite a better way of connecting and managing your content, data, and interactions, around ideas that matter. Visit Sphir to sign up for the pre-launch updates and learn more.
~ Melissa A. Curtin