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What started off as a cool way to project our personality; stay connected with friends, acquaintances, and loved ones has evolved (some may say "devolved") into an exercise of tracking us, using us as a product, and infringing on our individual liberties.
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Let's think back. As we moved into the 2000's and 2010's, social media—in the beginning—seemed like a cool enough way to create a digital online personality whereby we share pictures, thoughts, ideas, and speech with one another; we also thought it was a pretty cool way to keep in touch with family and friends we may not physically be near, as often as we'd like.
But as the years flew by, as the scale and reach of the various social media platforms grew by leaps and bounds, as some of the various social media platforms "went public" as Multinational Corporations with stocks on Wall Street, social media has become weaponized.
Again, jumping back to our mindset about social media when it was just coming onto the scene—"oh wow, I can have this fun and interact with people online via social media 'for free'"—remember to always "follow the money", as the saying goes.
As time moved along, social media platforms "went public", schemed and scaled their reach to higher heights than anyone ever imagined; and as such, we have now learned an unpopular, little-publicized fact about social media:
We are the product being sold
Have you ever thought about what information you have shared on social media? Some social media users have never thought about it. If we think about it in terms of a spectrum: where one end of the spectrum is someone who has never thought about the privacy concerns about what they share on social media, and the other end of the spectrum is someone who strictly shares almost nothing on social media—most of us are probably somewhere in the middle.
While that sounds like a tempting thought onto which to hold, there are ways you can use social media in a safer and more-secure way. Furthermore, many of us have grave concerns about the political and social opinions of the powers-that-be who run these social media companies. While we recognize these companies are well within their rights to cancel and de-platform whomever they choose; we, as the general public, also retain the right to let the social media platforms know we do not appreciate when they are biased, unjust, and take control of how we utilize their platforms.
Stop kowtowing to them. We can social media in a smarter way.
Think back to the phrase "follow the money". At the end of the day, social media platforms make money by trading/selling/leasing/renting information about the users that have created IDs on their social media platforms. The big social media companies (many of whom operate across traditional country-geographic and in many nations) keep a history on every click and every tap you make while you have that app opened on your phone, while you surf around and interact with the other users on that social media platform who are your "friends"/"followers"/"likers"/"subscribers, or what have you.
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