Joel Vernier

Our world today is full of disagreements. We cannot seem to agree with anything on many sides of different issues. We disagree and sometimes do not even want to listen to the other side of a problem. Even big tech just blocks someone from expressing their thoughts on an issue. 

George Orwell’s 1984 seems to have nailed it regarding many aspects of how our lives are being managed by someone or some group. What we say near our phone is being tracked by corporations that want to sell us something. If you talk about a new mattress, all of a sudden, Facebook or many other platforms begin showing ads about mattresses. We are profiled by the cookies on many sites, leading to the stream of ads we see on our phones and computers. What else are they tracking? Do we all have a political profile that may be used for or against us? Can they tell if we support the NRA? Free speech? A specific candidate in an election?

Technology has changed our lives in many ways. Our phones are amazing computers! These devices allow us to do so many things with various apps. They are like having a mini laptop or tablet at our fingertips. We can order a pizza, buy stock, take photos, start our car, and many other activities that would have amazed us a few short years ago. But does all of this technology come at a cost? 

Do they call many of our “personal devices” items because they can profile all of our personal choices and create a personal profile on each of us? Will they develop algorithms that will predict how we will act in different situations? Will the police begin to work as the movie Minority Report and arrest people before they take action? Has the technology surpassed humanity’s ability to not look at all of the information being compiled on us? Having amassed vast amounts of personal data that is being used to influence our buying decisions and impact the political ads they use to shape our opinions? 

There comes a time that we have to decide just what to do with all of that data. Maybe we should choose to end this type of data collection; no data, no problem! I feel that this is the simplest solution. The problem is that many of our legislators receive large donations from big tech, and they may be influenced to let them continue to invade our privacy. Who would have thought that 1984 would actually take place in 2021? This is a little different from my usual column. I understand many people may not be aware of this type of data mining that is currently ongoing. I do not mean to upset anyone, but this has upset me. Time for my nap!

“Remember, every day is a gift! Some are just a little more fun to open than others.” – © Joel M. Vernier 06070/2021 Author of: “The Guinea Pig In The Freezer.” joelmvernier@aol.com.

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