It is certainly a different time from when I went to high school. Back in the late 1980s, we didn’t have email, Internet, or cell phones (aside from those humungous ones boasted by Wall Street execs). When I tell Gen Zs of my “limited” technology back then, they are stupefied. They respond “What did you do all day?” I normally chortle and tell them “Use our imagination.” We certainly live in a different time. A typical American spends 11 hours looking at screens. Aside from being more sedentary and having a lower attention span, what are more nefarious reasons we should be concerned about our cell phone addiction. Let’s talk about reasons we today we have an indifference to tech surveillance.
Here are a couple of great Holistic Health News (HHN) episodes to which to listen to give you more info.
Here are also some daunting stats. The Natural Security Administration (NSA), an intelligence government agency many times larger than the CIA, has admitted that they can LEGALLY:
- Eavesdrop on your phone conversations (as if Millennials and Xers talk on the phone).
- Intercept your text messages.
- Intercept your personal emails.
Has your indifference to tech surveillance changed after hearing this? You might be startled by likely don’t care enough to change your habits.
In our HHN episode on “Are Your Smart Devices Spying on You?” we discuss how the technology exists for your cable box camera to spy on you and be a Peeping Tom. It can also record your voice.
Google, Apple, Amazon have admitted their technology spies on you. For example, Alexa can turn on and listen to you without your consent. Your PC or Mac’s cameras can turn on and spy on you and record your voice without your consent.
How your indifference to tech surveillance changed? You must be startled and likely blindsided by this news. But will it be enough for you to change your behavior. Maybe enough to put tape on your cable box and computer screen when you are changing or doing something you might not want people to see.
Now ostensibly, the reason the NSA believes it is under their purview to essentially violate your 4th Amendment of “unreasonable search and seizure” is to protect us from terrorists. But one must admit it is very Orwellian in nature. Who is the true enemy? Perhaps it is the overseas boogie man terrorist, but one could easily state that the government is laying the groundwork to turn on us by putting in the apparatus to turn us into a Police State. Seen those cameras at all intersections?
A lot of people are willing to sacrifice their privacy for a greater sense of freedom. Thomas Jefferson once stated “If you sacrifice freedom for security, you don’t gain either.” In particular, women are wired to look for security whereas men value risk and freedom. Women mostly turn a blind eye to these government infractions…if you believe it is wrong for the government to be doing these actions. Perhaps you don’t.
Our indifference to tech surveillance is even worse on social media. Many people don’t questions as to why the most popular apps are free. Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram are all free. They are just happy it is free to use.
But it is truly an Faustian deal. Thankfully, the notion and concern of data mining has increased in the news with the Wall Street Journal and even the socialist trash paper, the NY Times, reporting on the dark-side of these free apps.
In short, everything you post on social media is collected, collated, and tracked. Your preferences in food, fashion, political ideology, household purchases, view of religion, etc. are tracked. Everything. Google tracks everything you Google search. Everything, men, even your porn. We are surveilled all the time on the phone or computer.
The official reason why these app titans data mine is that this his how they make money. They sell your preferences in everything under the sun to 3rd party companies, who then use that data for a wide variety of usages. Some of these are advertisers. You have seen those ads on social media. That is another revenue source for the social media apps, but the big money is the data mining.
I hope your indifference to tech surveillance is waning. Look, nothing is truly free. Even though money is not leaving your pocket on these free apps, a great cost is being paid behind the scenes. A large amount of data is being collected. In the Soviet Union days, the KGB would have a dossier on each Russian. We thought that was nefarious, but we have no problem with it so long as we are getting utility from these apps.
Who are one of the purchasers of this information? Health insurance companies? Why? Because they have a vested interest in seeing your eating and lifestyle choices. In the future they could raise your premium rates based on how unhealthy you are. Is that what you would like?
So why do we have a true indifference to tech surveillance? In short, we are addicted to it. They designed social media apps to be addictive. They hired gambling casino scientists to make the early prototypes of Facebook, Instagram, to be addictive…and it worked.
The millennials and Gen Zers are certainly hooked. All they have known is smart technology. It is practically an appendage or organ to them. Many of my students admit it. They manifest the classic indifference to tech surveillance, but they are young and lack foresight. Moreover, they know that there is a much higher rate of depression, suicidal ideation, eating disorders, and body dysmorphia when spending long hours on social media. They know this…but they don’t care. They are hooked.
Older generations are no different. How many middle-age women spend long hours on Facebook and Pinterest? How many men are on porn apps? These data mine as well. It is a serious problem in America.
The data mining, the surveillance state, the shortening of the attention span, the lack of productivity, the increase in a sedentary behavior, all is killing us…both physically and spiritually. Unless, we take the “red pill” and snap out of the Matrix we are screwed. Indifference to tech surveillance will erode America from within for the eventual foreign invader to easily take us over.