Were you shocked to discover that all content from your Facebook account was available in cyberspace? Some people were. Some didn’t seem to care.
“Facebook is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what information tech companies have on me. Once you see the vast amount of data that has been collected about you, you won’t be able to unsee it.”-Brian Chen, New York Times (see link below)
Data mining is not new. The Internet is not really free. Marketers vie for your attention. Have you noticed the ads have gotten more aggressive? You can’t skip them anymore.
Silicon Valley is busy harvesting your data. “The phone number of my late grandmother, who never had a Facebook account, or even an email address,” showed up on Sara Ashley O’Brien’ s stored Facebook data. Consider all the phone numbers and personal codes in your address book as vulnerable. All your ex’s, all those you’ve “unfriended.” Nothing gets deleted. Privacy does not exist on the Internet.
I want to shout: “Hey, remember the sanctity of the mail!” That is a phrase that was used to describe the private and safe handling of your correspondence entrusted to a federal agency, the USPS, which delivers to every address, six days per week.
It still exists. Yep, it takes time to get pen, paper, envelope and stamp to a mailbox. But if the privacy of your thoughts is something you value, then you might consider “snail mail,” more often…
Technology is great, there is no doubt. But I feel we need to be a bit more discerning regarding how much we are willing to sacrifice to our devices. The engineers in Silicon Valley are clever. They’ve got us hooked to our gadgets. Breaking up with our devices is just like giving up any addiction.
Enough time has gone by for the techno backlash to be noted and studied as phone and Internet addictions. As a result, some digital detox is highly recommended.
Most of us can’t completely bypass the computer. Yet for sanity’s sake and as a bit of detox, I want to encourage balance with some good old-fashioned, hands-on letter-writing. Think about it, even writing a postcard offers you way more privacy than writing an email.
Faythe Levine, author of Handmade Nation sums it up, “We must remind ourselves to use the computer as a tool, not as a replacement for our personality.”