There’s been much controversy lately about the so-called”reduction of solitude ” caused by big tech companies, such as Facebook and Google. There are tons of folks telling us how worried we should be about giving our data up – but almost nobody can tell us precisely why. And fewer people are reminding us that solitude is a little cost to cover what those technology platforms have generated for our own lives, societies, and economies.
As it becomes increasingly more fashionable among both people and lawmakers to concentrate on the perceived pitfalls of those firms, we’re forgetting the advantages that, if we’re still conscious of these at all, appear to be taken for granted.
Those advantages are important. For example, Big Tech has generated the most lively, relevant and beneficial marketing in history. This has given tremendous benefits to customers, to the stage that an immaterial or improper advert appearing on the internet is a time for outcry or confusion.
Much larger than the benefits for customers, however, is the financial advantage. Many little and midsize companies currently have access to cheap, targeted advertisements, because of Huge Tech’s algorithms.
I’ve lost count of the number of companies that have been in a position to survive, flourish, develop and create projects with business models based only on online marketing; online marketing that’s developed on algorithms and information harvested and exploited by Substantial Tech. With older, offline marketing, those companies would have gone bankrupt past.
However, this isn’t an event the big tech companies are ready to make. Afraid of public outcry when the trade-off between solitude and quality of marketing is made explicit, they’ve withdrawn from the argument.
The outcome? We’re rarely reminded that giving up our solitude is a little cost to pay for getting the very best advertising ever made, to say nothing of those knock-on benefits concerning economic growth and employment where we benefit, directly or indirectly.
We guess they have access to more information than they’re publicly admitting. On two recent occasions, I’ve had discussions with friends – after about joining a fitness center and after about going on vacation – that then almost instantly appeared to influence the advertisements Facebook was showing me.
What’s so terrible about being advised about health spas in your town when you’re thinking about joining one, or even learning about Thai vacations whenever you’re arranging a holiday?
This seems absurd, but it had been the reality by which we were faced till recently – and do confront in non-targeted advertisements, such as roadside billboards or basic print advertisements. We tune out when swallowing those websites – but song in if we are seeing highly-relevant advertising on the internet. Online marketing works because we enjoy it even though some people pretend to not.
I am really satisfied with the hyper-relevant advertisements I’ve”purchased” by”selling” my solitude. When I could, I’d trade up even farther: I’d be glad for Facebook to get access to my ideas if it meant that I received better-targeted advertisements.
Where the first two years of the century have been spent demonizing and regulating banks, it appears that the next decade is going to probably be spent making Enormous Tech to the new bogeyman.
This implies higher taxes, more regulation and maybe a climate of personal persecution from the creators who’ve made these programs part of our own lives. All these are ailments that stifle entrepreneurship and could have ceased the dotcom boom in its tracks whenever they had been present a generation past.
Enormous Tech must be honest and open about the information they’re taking from us and both honest and unapologetic about why it’s worth us handing it all over.
Privacy is overrated – interpersonal networking is not.