Couple Things (about facebook)
When they’ve unfriended you on Facebook there was probably a reason. A good reason. Maybe a trigger. Who knows. Time flies. And here we are, wanting to ask about one of their art pieces. “Is it for sale?” She is a professional artist, after all. But we’re not friends. Hmm. I’m amazed more than confused. It’s just…
Couple things about Facebook. It’s not about you or your friends sharing stuff. It’s about you and your friends for sure, but something less friendly seethes just under the surface of Zuck and Co’s online wild kingdom. He’s no Marlin Perkins. He’s more like the TikTok executive today in front of congress trying to assure the mostly white men that his Chinese social media platform, infecting over 150 millions iPhones and “other brand” phones in the hands of both our children and our bored adults.
It is not social media after all. It’s marketing. It’s data mining. It’s influence. And how in the world can you trust China as much as you trust META? It doesn’t make any sense. And Apple, Google, and Amazon, what’s the deal about them sharing specific detailed data about you, your friends, your family, and the terms and renewal date of your car’s extended warranty? Let’s not talk about Alexa and whatever Google’s artificially intelligent assistant that can’t ever find that song I want to play, but can always start blasting out the fart song across the entire network of Googs (what are they called again?) around the house. Can you imagine placing one of the listening bots in your bedroom? Does it track who snores the loudest? Can it recommend a medical procedure for sleep apnea?
They say, if you’re not paying for it, then “you” are the product. It’s a truthyism. It’s part true. You are the product on every social media platform. And on your browser, your phone, your email application and search history. You, my dear, are for sale. And it’s a high rate of exchange between the big players. They don’t really like TikTok getting out of the ecosystem of red-blooded American big tech. Because if it’s “China” (voiced by soon-to-be-arrested *allegedly* Mr. Trump) it’s bad. If it’s Silicon Valley Bank it’s fine. We’ll cover all of it. Even if the FDIC restricts coverage above $250,000 dollars. But don’t think about that right now. Let’s get back to the sharing of data.
You know those cute little quizzes on Facebook? [“Click here to see who you should F/M/K.”] You know who runs them? China. You know what they want? Data. What kind of data? In a tiny glimpse beneath the curtain of data sharing/selling/marketing, I’m going to give you an educated hint. They are mining your FRIENDS’ data. See, they’ve already got you, due to your acceptance of their “terms and conditions” and their “privacy statement” that you didn’t even pretend to read. They want all those connected to you in any way. Wives. Ex-wives. Grindr account settings. What you like to stream, where you buy your coffee, and how much you typically spend on a Saturday night getting wasted.
I’m not telling you something you don’t already know. Wait, let me reframe that. I’m not telling you anything that comes as a surprise, right? I mean, if you click it, like it, read it, comment on it, or share it, you’re infecting all of us “friends” with your digital DNA. Companies like Tesla and Twitter will pay and be paid nicely for your digits and proclivities. It’s just a fact.
Now, where was I? Oh, right, Facebook. It’s not about you, it’s me. And time runs on.
more Short-Short Stories from John.