Week 3 Critique- do not track

WOWZA, this week’s critique was a definite eye opener. I decided to look more into a documentary mini series called “do not track.” It is a seven episode long documentary that tells about the consequences and benefits of us giving out so much of our personal information daily. So often, we find ourselves clicking ‘OK’ without little to no thought because, well, we really are not given a ‘NO’ option if we wish to continue. I am beyond guilty of this.

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Well, it turns out every time we click ‘OK’ and enact the cookies on our computer information is given and used for suggestions to our specific likes, interests, and pages we frequent. CRAZY. Additionally, the documentary went into detail in one episode about Facebook. They tried to make the point that we create our own worlds, filled with like-minded individuals, that keep us drawn in. Every time we ‘like’ something, more suggestions pop up, and friends with similar interests often are suggested. There was a similar showing that, given it’s a source of the news daily for many people, just how filtered out our views and perceptions of events becomes based on being in this bubble. Although I already was aware of other people’s views on this all, it just reiterated this idea of us only hearing what we want and tuning out people who do not think as we do. This is nowhere near healthy and is scary.

Another thing I did not realize was just how much all our information is out there. Ya, you put a lot of information up, but what we think is private, most certainly isn’t. Additionally, in one episode they were able to deduce my age, interests, personality type, likelihood to default on a loan, if I did drugs or smoked, etc. all based on my likes and posts on Facebook. THIS was scary. They talked about how they believed the information we provide and the people we hang out with speak to our true character. Some businesses can even use this kind of algorithm to give you a loan or hire you for a job. THESE are the consequences I knew were there, but that become more real watching this documentary series.

Overall, this was a BIG eye opener and a great series of videos. I really appreciated how it was engaging and concise. It was very manageable, but really got to the heart of how we are spending our time on the internet and choices we make with social media and the implications of all this. I was really happy I chose to analyze this group for my Critique this week because they are really trying to educate us all on just how much we are being tracked on the daily. As someone who is kind of naive when it comes to a lot of the digital platforms, this was extremely important for me to re-hear. It all seemed kind of 1984 ish to me….

This collaborative group and set of videos really spoke to this weeks theme of Copyright & Fair Use. While we mainly talked about what it means to take and use another’s material or idea and use it in a legal or illegal manner, this ties in nicely to how we use our own material. Additionally, there was one lady in an episode who was denied money for a health condition after a lady created a fake profile under her name. The insurance decided she was in good health and refused to help. The other person had basically stolen her identity just based on information and photos the lady was freely putting out into social media. We have to be extremely careful not just with what we take and use, but what we are giving for people to take and use as well.

And this is where it hit me…
WE ARE ALL GIVING THIS INFORMATION OUT FREELY. EVEN THIS BLOG. LIKE, WHYYYY! Do the pros really outweigh the cons? Definitely something to mull over.

I would love to show a documentary series like this to my future students because I feel it would be extremely beneficial. As adults, we still need to hear all this information more than one time, and we still continue to ignore it. However, when thinking about my emotionally-driven, self-absorbed teens, this information is even more pertinent. Even if just for the initial shock factor…they need to be constantly reminded that their are implications, good and bad, for what they choose to do digitally. It’s so scary to think about how they are already self-sabotaging without being able to think fully rationally yet.

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What a great documentary series! I will definitely re-watch and share with friends.