Time To Stop Surrendering Our Lives To Social Media (Again)
I was a late-comer to the social media scene. The technology really blossomed when I was working for the FBI. Having a social media presence then wasn’t the best of ideas.
I gave in after I left for the private sector. Mostly because I wanted to explore self-employment and promotion is a key part of that. I ran a PI agency, got back into graphic design, and finally settled on writing as my gig for life.
As an author, “developing a platform” has been all the rage for, well, ever. Social media is presumably the key to that.
But it comes with a huge cost.
Privacy for one. My most recent incident involves Facebook serving up half a dozen ads centered specifically around a conversation I had on the phone.
Now, I’m aware many believe the idea that Facebook is “listening” is straight-up tinfoil hat nuttery. But let’s not gloss over the fact that the technology is there. Alexa has a full-time job eavesdropping and anticipating needs.
As a rational person, I’ve dismissed numerous instances in the past of Facebook serving up an ad not long after I had a conversation about an item. Coincidence, I said.
But they do collect a disturbing amount of data about their users. And their algorithms are simply sophisticated enough that they can make some eerie guesses.
Even so, a year ago I uninstalled Facebook from my phone. An abundance of caution, we’ll call it. Plus it was a frighteningly addictive productivity destroyer.
I’d found myself checking the app anytime I picked up my phone. Even when I’d meant to use my phone for something else. It had become a conditioned response. I’d been fully immersed in the Skinner Box. That was enough for me to walk away.
Flash forward to a couple months ago and I reinstalled the app. I had a great idea for a new book series, had that secret Hollywood project going, and figured I needed to dust off my social platform.
Careful readers of my author blog will know my wife and I are in the process of purchasing a house. I briefly mentioned that in my last update. Where I didn’t mention it was social media. Anywhere.