Short blog posts, journal entries, and random thoughts. Topics include a mix of personal and the world at large. 


Where have you all been? I've long deleted my Facebook account! 

I quit the platform because I felt it to be a massive time drain with no real intrinsic value. I really didn't need or want to know how an old classmate from elementary school is doing, and the majority of people on my friends list were of that ilk. For sure it was novel to get in touch after a long time at first, but that quickly wore off. The friends I truly value and converse with on a daily basis I already do so outside of Facebook. 

The fact that Facebook mines user data with potential for nefarious acts wasn't even a factor in my decision to quit. I didn't put too much mind towards cyber-security back then, contrasting to the present where every front-facing camera on my computing devices gets covered, and I two-factor authenticate the heck out of all web accounts. 

I've been reading with great humor the mess Facebook have gotten itself into recently with the news that an outside firm has collected huge amounts of user data (through then legit means) and used them to put out targeted adverts and posts to sway opinions. I'm failing to understand the outrage: isn't that how the Force works? Facebook is built upon exploiting (too strong?) its culled data to sell advertising!

Sure there's an implicit trust we give to these companies to safeguard the information, but these scales are so massive that unintended consequences are sure to materialize, nor can these companies police absolutely every single piece of ones and zeroes. As long as the spigot is open, it may not be entirely clean water that will flow through. 

Which is why people need to be cognizant about precisely what they share on these platforms, and that any data they input can potentially be used however which way by first and third parties. That's the price of entry for an otherwise "free" product. If that notion frightens you then perhaps do as I have done and pare down the number of social media accounts to bare minimum (I found it difficult to quit social media completely). 

But it isn't only social media accounts, is it? Most other online web services we use operate on the same business model. Amazon surely profits from owning the purchasing patterns of millions of shoppers. Our search history in Google's battery of applications fuels most of its revenue stream. Unlike quitting Facebook, it's really difficult to stop use of these platforms.   

I think it's futile to put complete faith in these companies to not ever do us harm (read: Equifax hack). It's up to the individual to do periodic audits on the information we have out online and adjust accordingly.