MANY years ago in the early days of social media I had a look at the various offerings.
Basically, I wanted to see what the offer was, the motivation behind what was at the time a hugely-hyped segment of new technology, or actually an application riding on the backbone of the Internet.
I have used the Internet since I was first able to get at it, way back in the mid-1990’s, and felt in my bones that the Internet was a part of the future. Quite possibly a large part of it.
At that time Facebook was far in the future and the idea of broadband was a fraction of the data rates we enjoy today; we all thought a fax was an amazing asset that could hardly be improved upon. Perhaps a tweak here or there but it seemed to be the finished article.
Then what happened? Netflix!
Anyway, there I was having a look at Facebook soon after its launch and unlike many I did not actively use it, I disallowed most of the ‘share’ options that I could find, not easy, and had a look around.
I logged in several times and very quickly came to the conclusion that the business model was not one I wanted to be part of. I had always taken the view that everything you do on the Internet is recorded at least for while or at until the ‘data deluge’ is such that old data is simply overwritten.
Much as old books that were redundant were overwritten by monkish scribes in their monastic cells.
Only now it’s all done digitally, so when the value of your data is seen as null or zero it’s deleted.
Meanwhile, it’s all there for buyers and sellers to haggle over, a great big pile of data.
Data that is accumulating at stupendous rates as more and more people ‘share’ their data for free.
Participants are voluntarily selling themselves, for what exactly?
Even if I do not participate, people who know me do, and so a shadow of me appears and depending on the sunlight of that illuminating data the density of the shadow deepens.
What amused me in a bleak kind of way was that its taken till now for our elected representatives to appreciate that they too are part of the game, that their own business model – elections – are as much a part of social media now as any other process, institution or business.
Of course, some would partake of opportunities offered sooner than others, but did it really take a visit by Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook to the Houses of Congress in Washington DC to more or less tell them, “I know where you live. All of you.”
Oh, and by the way, I have been selling you for years.