On My Soapbox: Thank You For Sharing!

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We now live in a culture where we are encouraged to overshare our day to day lives but undershare our emotions. We are expected to show the world our positive, monetary, materialistic sides with glee and florid abandon.

I am terribly old school. All this lack of privacy online and via smartphones irritates me. I don’t want my browsing behaviour sent to a third party. I don’t want everything I write to be put on Cloud or Dropbox or wherever. I especially don’t want all my emails, my contacts, my shopping list for Tesco or anything else transferred automatically from one device to another unless I ask for that to happen. I have had old and defunct contact numbers turn up on new devices before now which begs the question of where did that number list actually came from and where has it been stored?

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I turned my location off on my phone and tablet too after rather freaking a friend out when a map of his approximate location at that moment popped up during a conversation in messages on Facebook. I told him exactly where he was or, at least, where he had just been. I don’t know whether you can still see people like that as I don’t have Facebook anymore but I could back then and, from what I hear, Facebook is even worse with its privacy settings these days unless you know where to turn it all off and remember to check every few weeks in case they update it all and reset your previous efforts.

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Some people really don’t seem to care if their personal information is going off somewhere to be sifted through by a computer program or, worse still, sold on to someone else to use for marketing etc. How about the case of a mobile phone provider who offered to copy a friend’s contact numbers to their new phone whilst face to face in one of their shops and then proceeded to text or phone each of those numbers about an hour later trying to sell them products. You see that sort of thing annoys me, especially if I am one of the contacts which gets my number placed on yet another system so I get yet more cold calls I don’t want. Mysteriously just after the numbers had been copied over I received more cold calls in a week than I had done in a month. Coincidence? Yes, apparently, it was or so they said.

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It seems to me many people have been brainwashed in to thinking all this information oversharing is a good thing, a useful thing and the best thing for us. Is it? Have you heard of the TV which is voice controlled and so sends the whole of any conversation had near it to a third party as it tentatively listens out for the words to turn it on? Yes, Samsung, you. I don’t know about you but I prefer to have conversations with my family which can’t be used to try and sell me something in the future when we have all accepted that ‘little bit more’ helpful technology in our lives and, more importantly, I like my conversations to be private.

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And, of course, if we haven’t anything to hide then what does it matter, they say? The younger generation is so used to it they happily share absolutely everything without safeguarding themselves at all. Even what they had for dinner and where they are going to be in an hour. They also broadcast when they will be away on holiday and therefore tell anyone online that their houses will be empty. I suppose that is because they are confident they can blame it on someone else and get compensated for anything which ‘isn’t their fault’ which happens as a consequence. Maybe I am just a little cynical and more than a little harsh…or am I?

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Is it all because we live in a world and in a time which seems to encourage no responsibility for self and no real need to think for ourselves most of the time? Some choose not to be curious and they just accept what they are told in a five minute news clip. We are all told what to think, what to feel, what to eat and what to do. I stopped watching the news on television and reading it in newspapers years ago. I still keep myself informed but prefer to come to my own conclusions on important matters. I’m as ‘off grid’ as I can possibly be to this sort of shepherding and read every piece of news with some caution until I have found out more about it.

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So what is next? Neural interface, everyone? It’s coming. Just think of the shopping experience we could all have if we just think of something and an advert appears for it on the large wall screen beside us. That’s if enough of us are still capable of stringing two thoughts together without being guided and still capable of making our own decisions. We can download our following days tasks and a few false memories about a lovely holiday we didn’t have so we don’t actually have to go on holiday. Perhaps we can be reminded how perfectly lovely our leaders are to us all too as they show us how good life is with them in charge. All that can be ours as we sleep peacefully through our designated seven and a half hours. We will be a happier, more productive species. No?

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I suppose it all depends on how much and how slowly we are spoon fed all this stuff which is supposed to be good for us, our families and humanity in general and how many of us go on to actually swallow it and not spit it out…

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20 thoughts on “On My Soapbox: Thank You For Sharing!”

  1. Have you ever seen “Conspiracy Theory”with Mel Gibson? People laughed at us…
    I keep everything like that in an old – fashioned diary and address book. I don’t have Facebook, the only site I use is WordPress…and I turned the GPS off on my phone. I hate cookies too..such a friendly, innocuous name for a nosey little cling-on…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha! I am always clearing my browser so I don’t get adverts pop up for everything I might have inadvertently looked at in the past week 🙂

      No, I don’t think I have seen that film. ‘They’ often call real life happenings mere coincidence or a conspiracy which we would be fools to listen to and yet… *cue music*

      In all seriousness though I like my privacy and it really does annoy me when my information is shared for selling purposes and, for that matter, any other purposes. All because I went online or bought something in a shop, suddenly I am fair game!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol…my partner was looking at insurance, he had to enter his age and suddenly he’s besieged with ads for funeral plans, life insurance, hearse hire, eco-coffins…I found it funny but he wasn’t quite as amused. I thought cardboard coffins were rather good…!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Ha! My OH gets those little catalogues for the older gentleman with the beige slacks and brown Hush Puppy shoes type stuff in. You could say he was rather put out when the first one turned up…he went deep Italian and I thought he was going to do himself a mischief! He reads this blog so I am guessing I shall hear about this again later haha

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Oh gosh, I can’t remember! They have been turning up periodically for the past year (big birthday for him soon!) and I pop them on his bedside table for a bit of light reading before he goes to sleep 😈

              He had a Nauticalia or something come this morning too. All products with a boating theme. Cooeeeee, sailor! 😀

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh gosh and now after reading yours and Samantha’s comments I’m laughing.. as it’s ME that’s getting those catalogues and not hubby!!! Yikes.. scary…. and he’s 4 years older than me so what’s going on there… Probably because I spend a lot more time on computers than he does maybe? On a serious note though… I was only saying to my sister a couple of days ago that I’m glad we aren’t quite so ‘into’ technology as our kids are… it’s definitely ruining the art of great conversation! That Samsung TV sounds terrifying! BIG BROTHER is Watching You… x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have been having so much fun reading first the post and then all the comments! When we purchased our laptop my husband stuck tape over the little camera thing. He has read somewhere that it can turn on by itself and watch you. I first laughed and then was told by my website guru daughter-in-law that it was true……the tape stays on.
    I am on FB and it constantly amazes me when people I do not even know send me a friend request.
    When you talk of magazines coming, that makes me grin. my husband keeps getting AARP mail…..he wonders how come I don’t get any when I am the one who is on the computer the most. One of the mysteries of life I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I admit it is in the back of my mind about the cameras and I think he is right too if I am honest. I think it was Steve Jobs who always kept his cameras and mic covered in his offices and if it was good enough for him…

      Now, of course, what SJ would have been doing was a lot more interesting than what we might doing. We probably wouldn’t be worth the effort but even so I keep my devices facing a wall or covered when I am prancing around my bedroom in my birthday suit 😆

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Completely agree! If I look at something on ebay or amazon or other places I shop, I then get several emails about similar items I might like. If I liked the first thing I would have purchased it. I refuse to have info on The Cloud; it can be hacked. I do not use a mobile phone. Oh dear, I have climbed up on the soap box with you! 😉

    Get AdBlock Plus and you will not have any more adverts on your computer. It’s free! (ha-ha, now this sounds like an ad but it is a real thing!)
    https://adblockplus.org/

    Liked by 1 person

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