Internet Overload?

My Aunt is completely against the increased use of social media, saying that “we’re communicating ourselves towards inertia.”

I believe that this sentiment is true to an extent. Since adopting social media I have made myself more available to a wider variety of people. For instance, I go to a social event, called Mundo Lingo, every Wednesday. For the past 5 weeks I haven’t attended. This has raised a lot of heads. Consequently, the organiser of the event, who I consider an acquaintance, sent me a message on Facebook, asking me when I would attend the next event. I have mixed feelings about this interaction. On the one hand it confirms my sense of community within the group, on the other hand I feel pressurised to attend which is compounded because I find it hard to say no. This example is something that happens regularly in my life and I often find it exhausting to justify myself to people when I don’t do certain things. I realise that I enjoy anonymity — being able to disappear without people concerning themselves about me. This is something very difficult to achieve now and personally I think that I need a much greater distance from the internet. Reading the articles I now see that this is part of the territory.

However, I disagree with the distinction between the digital and real life. They are one and the same as far as I am concerned. I say this because many of the people who make distinctions are simply continuing on a rehashed argument — that there is a pure way to live one’s life (usually with books and opera), which I simply label as snobbery. This meme surmises how stupid this reasoning is We have always needed a way to get away from the world because most people dislike each other.

My concern is the privacy issues while using social media. Every time I use an app someone is tracking me. Sometimes you don’t even need to use it. Friends tag me as part of a post. The metadata from these posts are then tracked by companies. This is a real worry that needs to be addressed through policy decisions. The only way to change this, I believe, is through creating awareness, either by blogs or posts. This utilises the popularity format which means that the companies will have to listen.

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