Comment Of The Day: “Scared Yet?” [Corrected]

And now, a fearless Comment of the Day from Mrs. Q, on the post, “Scared Yet?”

Fear is understandable but not helpful in responding to this increasingly disturbing trend. Quite frankly, these people want you to be afraid. Don’t give them that power.

To be clear, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be steadfast in our discernment of the information MSM is putting out or the tech giants’ actions. In fact, I suspect some readers here have only scratched the surface of what these “powers and principalities” are capable of.

For example, it would be wise to research the reach a corporation like Alphabet Inc. (Google’s owner) has in the field of medicine. If you think Google having a say in what we say is intense, check out the medical patents these “well-meaning” folks are working on. Don’t forget that Google is already used to increasingly hold more of our digital medical records. Add to that our genetic information being held by 23 and Me, whose founder is none other than Google founder Sergey Brin’s ex-wife.

As we move towards a green new world order, consider the “smart” technology being inserted into controlling our water usage, household heating and cooling, and even our cars. Is it far fetched to wonder if the wrong opinions could get one cut off from use of resources through smart tech? I’m not sure it is anymore.

Then you have the issue of what you say being “heard” by way of Amazon’s Alexa or the Hey Google voice-activated search tools. If you’ve ever noticed that suddenly your mobile device is suggesting targeted ad products to you after a private conversation in which some issue is mentioned, then you might want to consider just what is being recorded. In parts of the UK, laws are being considered to punish those in private conversations at home or elsewhere, where wrongthink may be spoken. For that to work you need omnipresent informants everywhere or a device that records you.

For years I have tried to explain to loved ones that willful participation in social media is giving away not only data and precious time, but also has the consequence of giving these companies power to store your information and interests, then use them for whatever they want. A family member once said, “But I have nothing to hide!” when it came to social media and the emerging technocratic state. The point, though, is that every post, every “like,” and every “follower” is giving permission to these entities to invade your life and thoughts. Sadly, too many are willing to surrender their data for the convenience of a digital connection.

Sure, one could just go to Parler or another “conservative” social media platform. However if anyone thinks “this won’t happen here” in regards to these services, they’re mistaken, especially if our government finds a way to control these platforms.

How does one disengage from Apple and Google when they make our phones and computers? How do we stop our addiction to scrolling on social media? How do we embrace privacy when we willingly give our data and dreams to Alexa? How do we stop shopping on Amazon? How do we take our lives back from tech oligarchs and censors?

We can blame or fear the technocrats, but that tactic doesn’t hold ourselves accountable for our role in this mess. We chose convenience over substance. We chose quick hits of “owning” others rather than in-person debates. We chose to let our data be collected without reading the fine print or thinking clearly about just who is using our data and to what ends.

If we want to see this change, we have to change our relationship to tech. We have to use digital resources mindfully, contemplating the consequences of each text, online search, social media update, and private conversation that isn’t so private. We have to research what exactly these companies are up to and ask ourselves if using their products and services is ethical by our own standards. We have to find the boundaries and balance between easy communication and invasive data mining combined with speech control.

Will this get worse? You bet!

Don’t be afraid though. This may be the wake up call we need to get back to what is most essential, like our health and personal fulfillment, rather than spending our precious hours giving those who wish to control us, our life force and power. This is a good time to reclaim the real while assessing our use of the internet and tech services.

We have to stop participating in their digital abuse. I used to work at a domestic violence shelter, so I’m aware of how hard it is to leave someone who both hurts and helps you. I also learned it really does take several attempts before finally leaving such a situation for good.

Yes we have to use some of this stuff. And yes we can cultivate meaning from certain digital tools, websites, and even social media. Therefore I humbly suggest we take a hard look at what really is useful and cut off the rest, one click at a time.

21 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Scared Yet?” [Corrected]

  1. Thanks, Mrs. Q.

    I’ve taken a few days off from scrolling Facebook. The other day, I was scrolling through hate-filled screed after hate-filled screen when I found a rare post from my brother that basically said, “Stop scrolling. It gets worse the further down you go. Get off Facebook for a day. Read the Bible. Say a prayer”.

    I decided it was good advice. The last few days of not scrolling and not reading other people’s vitriol has done wonders for my mental health.

    You are right in that we give these companies far more of our time and energy than they are worth and far more information than they have any right to have. We have become a society that refuses to take responsibility for ourselves. He who abdicates responsibility abdicates control.

  2. Alternate sources like Parler, eh?

    “Parler will likely go offline for “a while” Sunday evening given Amazon Web Services’ decision to suspend the upstart social media platform after Wednesday’s U.S. Capitol riot, executives said Sunday.”

    “Google suspended Parler from its app store Friday due to a failure to moderate “egregious content” posted by users related to the violent siege on Capitol Hill last week.”

    I think it was Steve in NJ (forgive me if I have that wrong) expressed that we’re headed the wrong way on a fast track, and there were a few good comments arguing the US would be ok.

    These stories may be confirmation bias, but a certain amount of fear is warranted, and we may be more powerless to affect change than we’d like to admit.

      • I’m not entirely sure what that means Michael. Which is part of the problem with online communication.

        If in any way you’re suggesting any kind of violence against any one, I can’t abide by that. I’m hoping all you mean is to stop using their services/products.

        • It used to be I would agree with your sentiment, not Michael’s (assuming we interpret anywhere near correctly), but antifa is effectively the IRA to Sinn Fein connection of the Democratic party/Media. No Democrat of note has called antifa for what it is, the Washington Post recently ran the Republican rat/ Nazi cartoon, along with Maxine Waters encouragement, will ensure more disrespectful and violent behavior towards anyone “not on their side”.

          That’s happening now. It’s not getting better, and most conservatives don’t say much assuming the remainder of democrats, or most of the rest of them, aren’t crackpots.

          I’m sure most Germans thought that way about the Nazis, and that didn’t end well (as an aside, read Dennis Prager’s article about “the good German”). The vocal minority gained power and implemented their strategy in stages.

          You may think I’m nuts or going too far, but tell me, 4 years ago would have predicted a major American city would be taken over by armed insurgents (Seattle – take umbrage at my characterization, but they were armed – why)? And that state and local government would do nothing for several weeks?

          Would you have thought a major American newspaper would run propaganda cartoon paying homage to a bloodthirsty regime ?

          So I think a fair amount of fear is warranted, and unethical as it may be, I’m well tempted to contribute to the legal defense fund of someone who “takes action” against the insidious evil the left is implementing.

          That’s scary to contemplate, actually, and I’m not sure how serious I am, but when I’m the equivalent of a Jew to a Nazi in a major American newspaper, I know how serious the other side is.

          • No Democrat of note has called antifa for what it is, the Washington Post recently ran the Republican rat/ Nazi cartoon, along with Maxine Waters encouragement, will ensure more disrespectful and violent behavior towards anyone “not on their side”.

            The only ethical reaction is to return the disrespectful and violent behavior back one thousandfold!

            It is what they “fucking deserve”.

          • Mr. Bob and Michael, I hear you. Look, my own childhood neighborhood is almost gone thanks to the riots this summer. I watched the places I walked past every day for ten years, the places I had many firsts at, the places I saw out my living room window everyday – be smashed and then burned. Every place my wife and I visited with our family the summer before last, up and down Lake St., in Minneapolis is gone from fire or severe looting. And the wild part, due to my racial background, was being told this destruction was for my own benefit.

            I watched the place I moved to as a young adult (Portland), succumb to antifa tactics, increased crime, obnoxious virtue signaling, and eventually also severe looting, with some small fires. The federal building I walked past each week for over a decade became a touch point for President Trump to send The National Guard to. Every night before we moved in July, we heard the noise of flash bangs and helicopters. Downtown is a shell.

            Leading up to this, my wife was harassed and her job threatened for being neutral about certain issues. She watched censorship encroach upon a place that once claimed to be a beacon of free speech. At her job, co-workers hating Christians or anyone perceived to be right wing was just a day at the office. Her boss was straight up antifa and she was followed and recorded by a couple of them on the job.

            We lost friends for not hating Trump even though we hadn’t voted for him.

            We had to move from the town we once loved to be safe 5 months ago. So yeah, I know how bad it is. This crap isn’t just something I saw online, it actually touched my life in a very deep way.

            The first place burned down in Mpls. was the last place I saw my now deceased dad at work. If you think my call for peace is easy, it’s not.

            The one advantage I have in coping with all this has been that my wife and I saw this coming. We studied history, we looked up what tech companies were up to, and when we saw the beginnings of socialism become a toxic culture in Portland, we knew it was going to spread.

            But you cannot make more violence become peace. You cannot destroy in the name of unity. And to dehumanize anyone in the name of good, is to miss the point. We need to defend ourselves if trouble comes but we don’t have to instigate or become the monster we’re trying to slay.

              • Get off the internet and throw a dance party for yourself. Bake cookies for a neighbor. Get a pedicure. Buy some delicious Black Rifle coffee. Watch an uplifting movie. Treat a niece or nephew to a new toy.

                They want us to be as misrable as they are. A dose of joy goes a long way towards resilience. We can’t legitimately fight back from a place of being butt hurt all the time.

                And with that, I’m taking my own advice and putting down my tablet now.

                • Mrs. Q, you’re absolutely right. Fighting violence with violence begets more violence and more hate. It is hard to not react negatively to the violence and injustice spreading around us, but in looking at violent, or even just hateful approaches, is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

                  And the advice to get off of social media is sound. I should still go back and officially delete my Facebook account, but I left it in 2017 and it has been a boon for time and energy. And it forces me to actively choose to engage with people, instead of passively letting it happen with a series of impersonal mouse clicks.

                  The way forward is to stand firm, joyfully living what we know is right, joyfully accepting and facing the challenges ahead of us, and even being cancelled and harassed joyfully. And joyful isn’t a feeling: it is a deliberate state of mind.

                  • Mrs. Q, Ryan, I don’t disagree with either position in principle or in action – frankly, comments here are my sole means of social media interaction, and I don’t comment here very often though I check in daily – me cutting back won’t do much, but for those who are on quite a bit, maybe it helps the cause.

                    I’m not going to stop living life, not butt hurt, etc., but the usual thoughtful dialogue about such things is a waning commodity.

                    The conundrum is being ethical until they haul us all off to the gulags.

                    “It’ll never happen here” is happening under our noses with greater frequency.

  3. Thank you again Jack! Some corrections. My apologies.

    Third paragraph: Don’t forget that Google is already used to increasingly hold more of our digital medical records.

    Sixth paragraph: Sadly, too many are willing to surrender their data for the convenience of a digital connection.

    Twelfth paragraph: This is a good time to reclaim the real while assessing our use of the internet and tech services.

  4. Sadly, too many are willingly surrendering this … data….

    For many, all the personal data was given out during the first months they had access to a computer, by the child or the parent. Whoever refused was out of the loop until the information was surrendered. And tested in the marketplace. For the crime of having an ad blocker, I am now being threatened with being barred from entering particular sites or actively blocked from doing so.. For now, I just say to hell with it and go elsewhere but the day is nearing when I won’t be able to enter my own email website.

    This probability leads me to an ethical dilemma: whither hackers?

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