Reading back through my previous five posts, two major reoccurring themes seemed to jump off the page; one, issues of privacy and the need to compromise with our technology.
I mentioned concerns of privacy in three out of five posts. In my third post, I wrote on the “meme-ification” of black folks who have been through some tragic event, Sweet Brown, for example, nearly lost her life in a fire. Instead of allowing her time to recover, the Internet immediately made it into a comic commodity. In my fourth post, I commented on the frequent use of virtual assistant, even though its widely known that they “listen” to their users, even when they haven’t been called on. And in my second post, I spoke on the misuse of data collection and data sharing via social media platforms and the implication that has on users’ senses of security and privacy. Privacy is a very delicate thing in the age of the Internet, and that is directly related to the second major thread connecting many of the my posts.
I speak heavily on the need, or compulsion we seem to have to compromise with our technology; this occurs in almost every interaction we have with it. Whether that be in the case of data collection, ease of virtual assistants, or anything else, we find ourselves compromising on things we would never, given other circumstances. For instance, we compromise our privacy for personalized Facebook feeds and targeted ads for things we really want, to be able to safe time signing up for something by signing in with our Facebook credentials, and countless of other examples of us giving up a bit of ourselves. Along that same line, I also tended to present a fairly balanced analysis of each issue: data sharing for example has great implications for user privacy, but it can be used in an appropriate manner, such a collaboration between Facebook and NGOs to find out which areas are in need of medical attention or materials after natural disasters.
It’s difficult to say whether the major themes are specific or broad in nature because while I do cite very explicit instances, they are used to build a much more comprehensive understanding on how the technology and reshaped and redefined our lives.