My Perspective on Social Media
This page complements my About page on Flickr.
I have had both positive and negative experiences on social media. For many years, I posted photos on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I enjoyed interacting with family and friends, real and virtual. However, I grew weary of the data breaches, misinformation, disinformation, narcissism, vitriol, generalizations, labeling, doxing, snark, signaling, faux outrage, and performative [insert word]. I've probably missed some terms.
In 2018, I was wary when Facebook (Meta) modified their News Feed to use a Managed Social Interaction (MSI) engagement model. Later, I saw Facebook and Instagram employ methods to leverage negative emotions such as anger, fear, jealousy, and shame. Consequently, in 2019, I decided to limit my active engagement on social media, chiefly to Flickr and LinkedIn. I also rebooted my other social media accounts for reading/viewing-only purposes. It was a healthy decision.
I understand why folks want to be "liked" and have many followers. It's human nature. When the dopamine hits become the primary reason for being extremely online, however, it can become an addiction. There is a large body of behavioral health research on this subject.
Frankly, I also don't understand how people with thousands of followers, regardless of the social media platform, can genuinely keep up with their engagement. I explain more under Flickr Followers, Faves & Comments on my Flickr About page.
My professional work experience and education also led to my decision to unplug from most social media. During my career in IT, information management, data management, and metadata management were my specialized domains. In my University of Oregon MS graduate program, information design and information architecture were core focus areas.
In my work and my graduate studies, I saw the coupling of big data, artificial intelligence, mobile computing, and the Internet of Things leading to surveillance capitalism.
To my knowledge, none of my former employers ever exploited the data or metadata of individuals (patients, customers, consumers, or citizens) in this manner.
While the USA has industry-specific and state-level data privacy and security laws, such as FISMA, HIPAA, SOX, and CCPA, I think we should also enact legislation similar to the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). I tip my hat to the whistleblowers and legislators in the USA who are finally addressing this important matter.
Finally, although I understand the appeal, I will not “sell” my DNA data to brokers.
Last updated: 2/20/2022