Commodification of Your Information

Information is a type of currency, whether it’s gossip or self-disclosure.

Part of the human experience is sharing information.

Social Media has exploited this and it is time to rethink exhibitionist tendencies. Whether you have an OnlyFans page or focus on your ‘personal branding’, you are commodifying your information. The Social Dilemma really blew my mind. If you haven’t seen it please do so ASAP. It basically explained how the attention economy and AI algorithms have hacked us. We know it’s addicting and sometimes our livelihoods are tied to it and sometimes it’s just fun.

I admit, I love taking quizzes but have to stop myself when I don’t know the company or organization that is behind them. Some of them are obviously phishing for information: “Your stripper name is your first pet and the street you grew up on”, while others seem harmless, who wouldn’t want to know which GOT character they would be . But we never know what our information may be used for, from romance scams to identify theft to stalking. Have you seen the movie Ingrid Goes West? How about Black Mirror’s Nosedive episode? They are frightening because they feel like they could actually happen.

To folks that are still active on Social Media, now’s a good time to check your privacy settings? Open, friends of friends, or just friends?

Do you actually know everyone following you? I know we’d like to think that everyone on our friend’s list is REALLY our friend, but when you have hundreds of friends, what are the odds that someone you haven’t talked to in a while has changed and isn’t making good decisions? Post your trip vacations…after you get back – not before, don’t advertise that your house is empty.

Unlike the EU, we do not have the right to be forgotten and American children are amassing huge amounts of data. It’s well documented that child predators are on social media directed at kids.

Social media may seem like a good way to share pictures of your family, say with friends or extended relatives, but sharenting is becoming a serious problem.

“This technology coupled with parents’ behavior is increasingly putting children at risk for identity theft, humiliation, various privacy violations, future discrimination, and causing concern about developmental issues related to autonomy and consent.’

-Jessica Baron

I am not saying that everyone must get off all social media, instead I am reminding you to be thoughtful of how you spend your currency.

For additional reading, check out:

Evy Pompouras discusses problems with passwords/password questions and how to recognize a scam.

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