Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Online Assignment 4

Section 305

Online Assignment 4 and 5

            The information acquired by both Google and Facebook about me gave me some mixed emotions. I was startled at the accuracies, nostalgic for the information that they knew about from when I was younger, confused on some, and overall a tad bit frightened. However, not all was bad, I realized that without even knowing it I manipulated Facebook’s search engines.       
            The Google search showed a total of 136 things that they believe I am interested in, which for the most part were fairly accurate. Basketball was listed on there and I played for my high school team. What I was most surprised about is the depth of what they knew towards my history with soccer. Not only did they show soccer as an interest, they showed my former club team, high school all state awards I earned, and they had the schools that offered me scholarships in my history.
            However, not everything in the interest section of the Google interest page actually interested me. One of the alleged “interests” of mine is Brazilian music… not sure what to think about that. After going through all of the interests I would guess that approximately 90% of the alleged interests either actually interest me, or are a part of my life. It makes me wonder what I search in Google for them to know what interests myself. Obviously, I search soccer thing related topics often, but I want to know what I search in Google that makes them believe I'm interested in things like skateboarding equipment. I can positively say that I have never skateboarded in my life. Also, I wonder if all websites keep a history logs such as Google and Facebook. I realize that this helps those companies gain a profit by charging the advertising companies, but I wonder if a company such as Bing didn’t keep personal accounts on people, if they would become more popular due to the privacy provided.
            Facebook’s information was brought back fond memories while also providing a bit of a laugh. When I was probably a freshman in high school my best friend I said we were in a relationship on Facebook just because a running joke in our high school was that we are always together and practically dating. Well, he was a guy and both of us are heterosexual so clearly it was a joke that I had totally forgotten that we once did. Also, my younger self add 8 of my best friends at the time and said that they were my brothers on Facebook, which I had totally forgotten about. So, basically, Facebook thinks I'm one of 9 children.

In regards to what this experience suggests about digital society, I believe that it just means that nothing is private anymore. Now, I do not necessarily think this is that bad of a thing simply because I have nothing to hide but I understand why some people view this in a dystopian light. 
This will not really have an impact on what my way of communicating on the internet. I still plan to use Facebook and Google as my primary search engine. For me, this was more humorous than anything else because like I said, I have nothing to hide or that I'm ashamed about on the internet. However, if I ever find my self in a scenario where I don't want the government to find me, I will avoid Google and Facebook

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