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Farcebook’s Data and Blissful Ignorance

In the 1970's, I thought George Orwell’s 1984 could never become reality. Everyone I knew was knowledgeable of our rights and freedoms, along with the responsibility we had to maintain, protect and continue to fight for the rights of all. I believed we were too smart and informed to let anything remotely resembling Orwell’s scenario to occur.

Then it happened, I noticed people slowly becoming self-centered and self-focused, losing their sense of responsibility for not only their country, but for themselves.

What a local driver said in a local evening news story on potholes revealed how self absorbed we have become. The driver ended up with damage to his car from a pot hole (we’ve lost semi-trucks in some — OK, kidding). The reporter asked him what happened, “I wasn’t watching for potholes and hit a large one that broke a wheel and damaged my steering. I can’t sue the city for the damage even though they are at fault for not having fixed the potholes.” The news reporter ended with, “That’s a viewpoint held by many residents whose vehicles were damaged by potholes.”

I live in an area with a “pothole season.” Every driver knows they occur during this time and watch out for them the same as they do for children in a residential area. Potholes are a fact of life.

Here are the things in the story that concerned me.

  1. I am not responsible for my actions. The driver stated he wasn’t watching the road, but didn’t accept responsibility for his actions.
  2. “Blissful Ignorance” is my excuse. The driver didn’t know the city‘s road maintenance budget was cut on the local, state and federal government levels. He thought the city (they) had plenty of money and should pay for his repairs. He hid behind not knowing how the city finances road repair (blissful ignorance).
  3. “They” are responsible. The driver wanted to make “them” pay for his damage. He did not see the city (them) as being the people of the city or his responsibility to make sure the city has the funds needed to pay for services he expects. He missed the fact that “them” are “us.”
  4. Blaming others is acceptable behavior. Neither the news reporter nor the news staff reacted to the driver blaming the city for his inattentive driving. “Wasn’t it your responsibility to pay attention?” was never asked. Blaming others was considered an accepted response.

That story is not much different than any other current news stories. People blame others for our own actions. That brings me to Farcebook and who is responsible for the personal information you put on the Internet.

Today, for some unknown reason, people give away their personal information and privacy to any stranger who offers them candy (something free).

The candy is not even good candy. Farcebook, for example, is definitely not a step forward in communicating with others. You can easily make a couple of phone calls, send an email or visit the people you want to talk to in person in less time than it takes to try to do the same on Farcebook. The average user of social media spends almost 20 hours per week on social media. You could personally call or visit a lot of people in 80+ hours a month.

So, you give up every personal private detail of your life to a company you don’t know so they can sell you more stuff (targeted to you) you don’t need just to use their site. If you do this, you cannot complain about having your identity stolen or be outraged when your personal information or “private” pictures are used against you? You freely gave it away to get something free. That old saying, “nothing is free” applies here.

Oh, you didn’t read the “use of information” you agreed to when you signed up for Farcebook, Shitter, YouBoob (my “personally correct” titles) or other free unsocial media sites. By choosing “Blissful Ignorance” believing if you don’t see or read it, it doesn’t exist is not an excuse. No, No, No, it is not. The fact is, it does exist and what you don’t know can hurt you.

I downloaded the information Farcebook has on me. Very little exists and most of it is wrong. That is as it should be since I block as many collection routes (my general term) as possible and never use my correct (or the same) name, address or information on social media. Usernames, screen names and avatars can be created to keep your personal information safe! Didn’t anyone ever tell you that?

I can still hear the sage advice of my parents saying, “Never give your personal information to strangers.” I thought, at the time, that’s just common sense. I mean, who in their right mind would ever do that anyway?. . .

. . .Oops, I didn’t mean to offend you for freely giving your personal information to anyone and everyone . . . Actually, Yes I did. Do you lack all common sense and enjoy doing the most idiotic things?

Here is where personal responsibility comes in. Who is responsible for the information you post on unsocial media. Did “they” post it or did “they” force you to put it on their site? Nope. You did. You are fully responsible for what you do with your personal information. “They” are not. The only thing “they” are responsible for is following their data use guidelines they provided you when you signed up. Oh, never mind, you didn’t read what you agreed to so, you are the only one responsible for your “blissful ignorance” of those agreements. Did I mention that you alone are responsible for keeping your personal information safe?

You may be thinking or believe if I don’t provide my “real” information, no one will be able to find me. Does the fact that I graduated from a college I never attended, 10 years before I was born (slid that one by the Facebook edits), in an obscure country I have never been to, with a degree in a bizarre field and under a fictitious name affect who I am connected to? Absolutely not! Everyone I know expects me to have bizarre personal information listed. All I had to do was give a few friends my username (not anywhere close to my actual name) and I was connected to everyone I wanted to be connected to within a few weeks. It would have been sooner, but I don’t check my unsocial media more than once a week.

By the way, I am officially 178 years old on Farcebook and do not look anything like the posted pictures of myself. I find it humorous to see the group pictures Farcebook has me tagged in. They are interesting looking people, but not me or anyone I know!

My computers and cell phone are ad-free zones since all advertising is blocked and all my personal information on them is fictitious. You can do that from any unsocial media site or if you are lazy, through a secure web browser. You can even erase yourself from the Internet and still use social media. It isn’t difficult. I do not exist on the Internet. People searches, at most, find my current address (its in the phone book). Yes, you may have to do some reading and research, but free unsocial media isn’t really free. This is another thing you are responsible for. Are you getting it yet?

So, I don’t worry about identity theft, but I see why you should.

If you you are thinking, “conspiracy theorists” and believe your information on Farcebook is safe, you haven’t been watching the news. So, “get your head out of the sand!”. . .

. . .For those not familiar with this saying, it refers to incredibly stupid life forms who choose to stay ignorant about issues they do not want to understand. They believe sticking their heads in sand (or wherever they stick them) makes the problem or facts go away because they no longer see them. You may think the saying is referring to the ostrich, it is not. Ostriches aren’t stupid life forms. The saying is referring to people who choose to live in “blissful ignorance” by refusing to be educated on an issue. They continue to give all their personal and private information to anyone who wants it. These people should be recognized internationally in a reference book titled, “The Most Incredibly Stupid Life Forms!”. . .

. . . But, they would likely see it as an honor! Do you?