We are the product. Break out — be free!

Is anyone paying attention to the absurdity of this widely accepted, yet warped social media “game” that we are currently participating in and willfully abiding by? Have we lost our ability to critically think about the consequences of our media engagement? Through our involvement and consent, have we forfeited all sense of autonomy, privacy, and sense of self?

We have slid off the slippery slope right into the arms of the captors and fallen off the cliff of reality. The masses gullibly ran in droves right into the trap while disclosing, divulging, and revealing themselves, and mapping their lives. The captors gleefully and strategically have us right where they want us. Was this all part of their master plan?

Incentive Trap

FaceBook launched on February 4, 2004 as the Lifelog project of DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the Department of Defense’s research department closed. Auspicious timing and creepily coincidental. The Pentagon cancelled the Lifelog project, which was intended as a massive database devised to track your entire existence. Since many start-ups are funded by CIA front agencies, what did we expect?

What has really been the purpose of FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, Twitter, and other prominent social media platforms? Were they really innocently designed as a creative outlet for expression and a free service to connect us socially? Or were they always private companies with ulterior motives, masquerading as a public utility, and established to commodify our lives, monetize our actions, aggressively track our shopping habits, behaviors, trends, preferences, and locations, to control us? Perhaps even predict where we’re headed, including outbreaks, activism efforts, and crises? What happens if, and when, we defect and flee from their pervasive clutch of control?

It’s certainly not a secret we’re being tracked and surveilled as we interact with one another in this corralled ring of communication, interaction, and constant connectivity. After all, we are the ones freely dispensing the digital diary of our lives. Expressing our behaviors, thoughts, opinions, preferences, tendencies, and images, on a blinking neon display for anyone who will bear witness to us, the product.

We’ve become the product within these free services that are embedded with advertising, sponsored ads, paid boosts, and suspicious ads that emerge in your news feed after you had an in-person private conversation about needing a particular product or service.

What are you trading for access to this “free” service to log your life, catalogue your actions, map your locations with “check in”, post what you made for dinner, where you shop and what you buy, photos of your children and pets, an itinerary of who you spend time with, what issues you focus on, updates to your profile picture, photo tags of your closest friends and family, the incessant practice of taking selfies and gifting your biometric data, and infinitely more.

New York, Usa - May 28, 2018: Tourists Taking Selfies In From On

Have we been deceptively co-opted and are we willing participants? Somehow we traded convenience, participation, and connectivity for privacy, freedom, and time, as we yielded our data, our habits, our beliefs, interactions, relationships, choices, and preferences. Is it worth trading your autonomy, privacy, and sense of self, for the hours of time spent scrolling, clicking, liking, following, sharing, and giving yourself and your data away through your tracked digital life map?

The current social media platforms have not only captured our attention with their lustrous technology, but they’ve captured our experiences. They’ve captured us – in their all encompassing, oceanic interNET. And we fell for the bait.

Hook, line, sinker.

Hook, line, — sucker.

Baits, Hooks, Sinkers Preparing For Carp Fishing.

Look, realign, — be a thinker!

It’s a ripe and critical time to adjust our social media trajectory, consider the implications for using this technology, and what we are actually trading by using surveillance and “Lifelog” based platforms like FaceBook and Instagram.

Are you ready to be free?

Are you ready to break out and be apart of the vision of building something better?

Freedom concept. Escaping from the prison

Join us for an innovative experience on a new platform that was created as a renegade alternative to the shackles of the current social media landscape. Be apart of growing and building this ingenious medium as a solution to ignite a better way of connecting and managing your content, data, and interactions, around ideas that matter. Visit Medel.la to sign up for the pre-launch updates and learn more.

~ Melissa A. Curtin

 

Using social media or is it using you?

How do you use social media?

People use social and mass media differently, for a variety of reasons, and in a multitude of ways. Some users access media for community connection, to keep in touch with family/friends, share recipes, for entertainment, microblogging, creativity, to post animal videos, use their voice and be an advocate for issues, receive news, be informed, seek information, learn about events, be plugged in or “in the know”, to disrupt or challenge mainstream beliefs and dominant culture, to educate, broaden one’s friend circle, global interests, group participation, promote a business, communication, as a distraction, curiosity, a time-filler, an escape, a retreat, a safe space to interact, and much more. For many across the social media landscape, it’s a place to express yourself without inhibitions, be tapped in to what’s important to you, and be connected.

Social Media Wheel With Spokes  And IconsHowever you choose to use social media, understanding how and why you use it can help you prevent it from using you. Decide how best to use social media to benefit you. Be proactive and in control of your media usage and consumption. Draw boundaries around how you interact, with who, and for how long. Be mindful of why you’re accessing media and what role the technology plays and offers in your life. How does it improve or enhance your life? How does it make it easier? How does it add value? Or does it?

Consider your time management. Hours upon hours are often wasted on social media. For some, three hours passed in a time warp, you haven’t showered, you can’t remember why you got online in the first place, and dinner burned on the stove. For others, simply passing time is their desired goal. It has become part of the norm, the daily rhythm, and auto-pilot routine to constantly be connected to social media, for business, personal, and casual friendship purposes.

Being clear on why you choose the connectivity to social media and other media outlets may inspire where attention can be redirected or focused in your relationships. Become aware and honest about your role of engagement and the choices you make about your activities online, and within social media forums. Consider the ways you are using social media and how it may be using you.

the silhouette of his head with the words on the topic of social

Make social media networks work for you. If you choose to participate, learn how to direct your usage and leverage your settings. Adjust your privacy settings. Learn how your information and data are used and shared, or sold by the platform provider. Circumvent as many of the content control mechanisms, despite the growing suppression of truth, and the rampant censorship across platforms. Be in control of how you use media. Be mindful of how it may be controlling your mood, brainwashing you, deterring, distracting, or detouring you from your innate truth, dreams, desires, and aspirations.

Don’t succumb to media networks or social media outlets’ desires to monetize your online and offline activities, and every action you take and movement you make. Periodically unplug. Shut the phone off, unplug devices, and turn the computer off. Step away from the screen. Step away from the matrix. Go off the digital grid.

Step away from the matrix...go off the digital grid.Break the social media constant engagement and tracking cycle. Value and honor your privacy and autonomy. Use discretion when you log your locations. Turn the location services off. Remove your demographic profile from FaceBook’s advertising settings. Disable app and automatic website sign-ins from FaceBook and Google. Lock down your profile and only share your photos, personal info, and content with the friend’s lists and groups you choose.

Screen Shot 2018-10-23 at 2.36.48 PMRegularly back up your files, your photos, and your content. Export and save your social media data before it is deleted for you. The social media networks are actively combing their platforms and deleting accounts, purging pages, groups, boards, and scrubbing away counter culture and dissenting views. Decide if the current controlled direction of traditional social media resonates with you, adds value, or depletes your energy and siphons your time.

How about something better, with integrity, with you, the user in mind? You decide how you want to use a social media technology platform. You’re in control of your content, and how you organize your data, wisdom, resources, and time. You get to leverage its interface and tools to serve you and further your cause, your purpose, and goals. A user driven platform from an empowered approach. An innovative way to use social media, manage data effectively, and in a way that honors your privacy, content, connections, and life. A platform for you to be more efficient, productive, and purposeful online and off.

Medel.la is rolling out soon! Sign up for for pre-launch updates. Join us to discover a new way to use a media platform that benefits you!

~ Melissa A. Curtin