When the news of the facebook data leak broke out this was my largest and clearest reaction: Oh. That’s law of attraction on drugs. or overdrive.
Let me explain. Look.
It’s really creepy that it’s been proven that our smartphones listen in on our conversations and collect data about the things that we’re interested in. That we get targeted ads that are curtailed to our very niche interests and personality. A 20-something blogger -here are a bunch of travel the world as a blogger ads !! and some weirdly interesting otome-style tarot games we know you like. oh.
you’re a 40 year old single woman ?
Here’s a shitton of dating app ads with really hot guys on the cover.
Oh yeah we know you like those exotic looking men, don’t dare underestimate how eerily accurate all our algorithms are. We know exactly who you think is sexy, we know you googled “jude law, blue eyes” a couple of times in the dead of the night.
Now, I mean look.
I know it’s creepy. But isn’t these just more things that you can happen to want? I know targeted ads, and the way personal data is harvested is very creepy I KNOW. I HEAR YAH. BUT THIS IS ALSO. MORE THINGS You WANT RIGHT.
These are all aspects of you you’re trying to grow into and when you hate these ads you’re also kind of hating yourself because these are , to an extent an extension of what you’re buying habits really are and a part of you. Not the single most important part of you, I mean we’re not just customers, just consumers, but that is a part of us. A part of who we are, and we must accept this part of our reality if we’re all gonna love and accept ourselves.
We all spend money. We all have preferences. We all do a bit of that online shopping and those ads work.
So why is this such an ISSUE then?,.. why do we have such a weird relationship with social media as this mega presence in our lives?
I’ll have to be honest. I hated social media for a good eighteen years of my life. Hated friendster, no myspace. Awkward and forced as hell to be on facebook (because school requirements). And to be honest I’m still very much confused by the mechanics of instagram and twitter and this is coming from a person who’s paid to do online marketing. ((haha.))
So trust me. I feel you. I feel the hate and frustration for the perils of Capital Social Media Empires and how we overly perform and edit our lives for the applause of other people and how we’re commodifying ourselves. I get it, I get you.
But hear me out.
Social Media is what you make of it. Just like anything in life.
repeat after me.
Social Media is what you make of it.
Let me tell you what got me over my social media hate. I had one friend, (who became my best friend) who primarily talked to me through facebook chat. I looked forward to our conversations, and hell I was freacking giddy and smiling at my notifications when his messages popped into my phone. Inside jokes, recommended writings, GREAT art.
things i liked.
I had reasons now to be on fb and I now needed to make the experience better if I loved myself.
I started unfollowing people I didn’t like, or people I felt like I was being pressured to be someone else around. People who represented society’s expectations of me, and I just fricking banished them from my feed.
I followed a lot of afro house video pages, dance pages, inspirational funny memeful and anime pages and holy crap my facebook feed is so nice now. Plus I followed nicer people, people I genuinely enjoyed hearing news about and I now enjoy the digital interactions, especially for loved ones who moved far away and have no other means of communicating with you.
I mean, we somehow enjoy complaining about millennial about being on their phones, but what are we doing there really ??
We’re having group chats with people we care about. Long, almost never ending conversations with our best friends, and participating in the collective appreciation for the media we like, through unprecedented amount of user generated content and just SHARING and CREATIVITY. (huhuhu tumblr.ILY. fanfiction i love you to death.) (((also see me rave about the miracle of interwebs from a creative nut POV here)))
I have a much better relationship with social media now, also a much better relationship with myself. I’ve realized that a lot of the hate I’ve had towards social media was also a lot of teenage insecurities playing out, especially when you’re still finding yourself and wanting to be approved of wether in real life, or through digital ‘likes’.
It’s like a self-sustaining ego experiment, comparing yourself to others, wether you can appreciate other people’s successes without being insecure with your own.
Being radically honest and candid and being unafraid with being who you truly are. I admit, it’s a lot to take it, and all this hyperjacked mirroring, going on 24/7 in your ‘facebook identity’ can be SUPER tiring to process. But it CAN be better, it can be wonderful.
There’s lessons packed in there. Lessons about yourself, ironically.
Cause all those bots are trying to do is finding more of yourself for yourself, and how at peace are you with your own identity really? How open are you to understanding your own thought patterns, desires and projected frustrations ? Are we willing to learn?
This can also be alternatively titled: lessons on Self by Facebook, by YOU primarily. But maybe it wouldn’t work as well ???
So well hey, tell me about your own take on social media angst, and these AI overlords taking our data. It’s a funny timeline we’re in huh ?