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.