You probably have considered the points covered in the following link before, but depending on what you do for a living you may not have considered it in as open and clear-cut a manner as you will after reading For Sale On the Web: You! : All Tech Considered : NPR.
The writer, Dave Pell, is a San Francisco based, self-described “Web-addicted insider, investor and entrepreneur.” He has been blogging for more than a decade. The NPR post actually first appeared on his blog, Tweetage Wasteland. DANGER, Will Robinson: Unless you are so far geeked-up that it does not hurt your feelings even a little bit to be called geeked-up, be careful going over to Pell’s website. He is on a level of techno-mania I have not heretofore encountered. But that may be a good thing…..it’s up to you.
I digress. (I’m sorry, I blame Pell’s website.)
Perhaps the best line in the NPR piece linked above – which is considerably good — is a comment at the end by a reader named Bruce Smithhammer: “If you aren’t paying, you are the product.”
Let’s review: If you aren’t paying, you are the product.
Social media is for all intents and purposes free; that is to say, it is without financial cost. Many people I know regularly throw out the question to their connected universe, “Will you stay on Facebook if they start charging?” The results I’ve observed are usually evenly split.
In July 2010 I wrote on this issue on Esse Diem (full post here): “I worry that any language commoditizing human beings is destined for moral bankruptcy and ultimate failure.”
There is much to love about social media, blogging, and our brave new world; but never forget it is not free. How do you find yourself responding to the dynamics of using the easy and free techo tools Pell describes? No joke, a serious reflection on these issues may be the most important ethical and spiritual thing you’ve done for yourself in a long time. The long-term effect of these incremental dynamics is staggering.
As Robin Williams said in Dead Poets Society (see the previous post), “This is battle, a war gentlemen, and the casualties could be your hearts and souls.”
Just promise me you’ll think about it.
Image credit: WebLink Blog