How essential is online privacy?

Online privacy is not just about your internet service provider (ISP) or search engines tracking which sites you visit and which keywords you search for, cyber security, or the risk of having your financial or personal information hacked or leaked. It’s also about your data and content being heavily tracked and surveilled, captured and sold. And the manipulation and commodification of this data/content, the security or lack thereof for where your personal information is disclosed and dispersed, and who is granted access — with and without your knowledge, consent, or approval.

Managing and controlling what you share and determining who sees your info should be up to you, the user, the content creator, and disseminator of the information — not up to or guarded by corporations, lobbyists, or governments.

Does privacy matter to you? How discerning are you with what you share? Are you in control of and carefully monitor to whom you share?

“Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.” Edward Snowden

Are you concerned about your data, photos, and content being harvested, aggregated, mined, sold, and stored without your permission? Have you read the privacy policies of the social media platforms, apps, and the sites you frequently visit? Are you willingly providing permission to FaceBook and other social media outlets to listen to your conversations and then advertise and market related products to you?

Female Blue Eye Looking Through The Keyhole. Concept Of VoyeurisTechnology companies and financial institutions are infamous for breaching privacy and revealing data. The FaceBook/Cambridge Analytica scandal of 2018 demonstrates how vulnerable we are just by participating in mainstream social media outlets. You are unable to fully control how these tech companies use or abuse your information in-house or with third-party sources. FaceBook is not the only platform that has been found guilty of the misuse and abuse of information, Twitter has also come under scrutiny for similar actions. (Twitter accounts by default are set to “public”, but you can change the setting and select “private”.) As technology evolves, user protection and tightened privacy features should be a cornerstone and a fundamental element to internet navigation and social media.

Press Enter Button On The Keyboard Computer Shield Cyber Key LocThe current social media reality illustrates that online privacy is an oxymoron. Entering social media internet platforms resembles wearing your underwear outside your clothes or stitching the red letter “A” across your sleeve. You’re on display in blinking neon lights, exposed, dancing in a fishbowl.

Neon Color Line Icon Set of bubble emoticons for web and mobile.Once posted, your information is chiseled within the internet tombstone. A timestamped digital trail of everything you write, say, photograph, comment on, share, save, and do. Surveillance cameras are everywhere, tracking your every move, every blink, every click, like, love, and angry emoticon. Big brother, and all of his third-removed cousins, sisters, and nosy-ass mother-in-laws, peeping Toms, Dicks, and Harriets. Reverse transparency where the users’ every move is on neon display – while the platforms discreetly and purposefully hide their motives in fine print. Their cookie policies, their data sharing, mining, and selling strategies to third-parties, and their absurd censorship based on their “community standards” and discriminatory policies against content that’s in conflict with their funders. If we choose to participate, we must “accept their terms and agreements.” If not, then we must voluntarily extricate and eject ourselves from their advertising based platforms. And that’s ok!

Don’t resign your rights and be so eager to give away your personal info to drooling data miners. You can also turn off third-party sharing with changing the “platform apps on/off” setting on FaceBook to disable the auto logging in from external app, websites, and plugins. Of course these features aren’t widely promoted or known by most users.

Should you be fearful of internet privacy issues? This analyst believes so – but instead of falling into the trap of data breaching and allowing your personal info and data to be prostituted and captured by tech companies, or settling and sticking with disingenuous platforms, consider alternatives for search engines, like DuckDuckGo and decentralized/ independent platforms. Pursue a new platform utility that will never sell your data or sell you out. One that stores and protects your identity, data, content, privacy, intellectual property, and dignity. Built using blockchain technology where the users’ data are protected in a complex encrypted “transparent and incorruptible” block system. The users’ content are locked, safe, and protected by the encrypted system.

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Security. Privacy. Trust. Transparency. Integrity. 

You are the only one who should determine what you reveal about your self, your business, what content you share, how you share or monetize it, and decide who you want to share it with.

Join Medel.la to engage in a free uncensored platform utility that puts the user in the driver’s seat — where you determine how your content and personal info is shared, with who, and its reach. Let’s stretch into a new paradigm of what’s possible and not cave into the anti-privacy abyss. Privacy has vanished across the social media stratosphere along with integrity, class, respect, and decency. Shall we shift it for the better together?

Be discerning and protective of your content, data, information, and your self. Be part of the change to elevate social internet platform standards. Be apart of the privacy, data protection solution, and digital transformation!

Launching in January 2019 – sign up for pre-roll out updates at Medel.la (new name will be unveiled soon)!

~ Melissa A. Curtin

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s crack the social media mold.

Social media platforms and content sharing websites offer tremendous value, yet they are also abundant and riddled with problems, issues, flaws, pain points, and annoyances. With growing choices and splintering options, users join and belong to numerous platforms to fulfill and satisfy their speckled social, business, content, creative, media, connection, storage, sharing, community, and networking needs. But to achieve all of users’ desired needs, wishes, wants, and nice to haves, there hasn’t been one platform in the kaleidoscope mix that has effectively delivered in all categories.

Christmas Mandala-snowflake Kaleidoscope Sequence. Abstract BackThis isn’t to suggest that there needs to be an umbrella platform that caulks the gap and supplies everything for everybody. However, for those seeking better time management, efficiency and effectiveness with their social internet endeavors, integrity, and a central, secure, and safe portal to hold and share what’s truly relevant, essential, and important, while aligned with being the change *and* taking action, — the search continues.

Existing platforms provide their unique flavor, their visionary contribution to the digital realm, and engage their eclectic users within the constraints of their distinct offerings. Each of the prevailing social media platforms have their limits of features, capabilities, technology, market, added value, bells and whistles, and scope. Some social media platforms have cool feature sets and seamless designs, while others offer a cluttered and noisy interface. Some have most of the desired package tools and community engagement, but miss the mark on privacy, censorship, reach, algorithms, functionality, relevance, or usability. While others have lost their zest and appeal and gradually become antiquated with each newer shinier platform.

social network, communication in the global computer networksWhat drives users to join and stay, or bail and flock? What keeps users engaged, interested, and loyal? Why do people gravitate towards certain social media companies, functions, and products? This Social Media Use 2018 study published by the Pew Research Center for Internet and Technology provides insight and addresses social media trends and demographics.

Does critical mass determine if a social media platform will be widely accepted, relevant, valuable, and worthwhile? Does it start out as trickles of interest, then a rolling boil, then a tipping point in critical mass, leading to full migration and popularity? How much does the quality of users over the quantity matter when utilizing a network?

Current 2018 marketing statistics reveal fascinating consumer behaviors regarding content marketing, social media, video marketing, advertising, and more. Companies pay enormous amounts to marketing research agencies to track digital trends, consumer behaviors, and dollars spent.

However, despite all the data collected and everything we’ve learned about how people use social media, much of social media falls flat. The existing structure and design of social media platforms, when primarily used as giant advertising vessels for mega-corporations and propaganda machines for governments, have become painful to be apart of and witness. The way in which social media networks and these public forums have been co-opted and manipulated is disgusting and the tolerance for social media to continue to be used and abused this way is sharply shrinking. The commodifying of our data and our lives has also run its course. And let’s not forget the rampant outrageous censorship. Have we had enough of being rats in their wicked wheel of misfortune and maze? Has anyone else noticed we have been circling around the drain for too long?

 

Isn’t it time for the masses to crack the code, break the mold, break down the systemic dysfunction, detach from the dependence, the addiction, and commodification of one’s data and info? For real this time! What are you waiting for?

Are you waiting for a decentralized platform, a truly independent utility, — built using blockchain? An outlet to freely share content that you’ve created with whom you choose – no-holds-barred? Customizable to meet your needs? No advertising?! A secure vault to store, save, catalogue, and organize all of your data, media, files, publications, photos, videos, and other media creations? A streamlined way for you to leverage what you create and design, with the ability to not only share, but monetize your intellectual property and ideas? A platform that encourages activism, advocacy, and taking action? Are you waiting for a platform where you can host and be apart of groups without the fear that the group will be removed and deleted for some mystery reason?

Milky Way And Snowy Mountains. Fantastic View With Mountain RidgThe founder of Medel.la was waiting for all of these capabilities and much, much more — out of pure necessity and identifying where the holes are, but also in anticipation of our vanishing freedom of speech and the corporate take-over of the existing platforms. Why wait when one can create?! This is what stepping up for the people looks like. This is what innovating from insight, inspiration, and leadership looks like. This is what empowerment looks like.

Let’s bring our creative juices, our unbridled spirits, our bold and wild ideas, and our open hearts to this creative cutting-edge collaborative venture. Be apart of what it feels like. Join the Sphir of influence and get ready to crack the social media mold, shape your own experience, and drive it forward.

Be a catalyst for change! Stay connected to receive pre-launch updates, by signing up on Medel.la (name change coming soon!)!

~ Melissa A. Curtin

 

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