Taking the time to access and acknowledge the information that both Facebook and Google can access about me is somewhat unsettling but is not anything entirely new or shocking. We are warned about being cautious with what we put online by everyone because there is a growing awareness of the dangers of stolen identities and privacy issues. Growing up with the Internet, we have learned once we put something on the Internet, it is out in the world infinitely and it can never legitimately be deleted.
Seeing Google’s decisions on my interests and whatnot have made it clear there are flaws within the algorithmic system. Some of the things I Google are not done out of an interest but necessity for that knowledge, like things for classes. It does of course indicate my interest in photography, but I don’t think it altogether knows me too well. The idea that this information is used to personalize my ad experience is sort of flattering. My thought process on the idea of tailored ads as a whole being that as long as I have to look at it, I’d rather see ads for things I already like than something like, for example, football related. I was actually sort of surprised that Google didn’t have a better handle on my interests what with all my online shopping and things. Facebook and its archive of every conversation seems excessive. It just reaffirms that we must watch what we say on the web, regardless of who it is to or how private we believe it to be. These websites having all sorts of information about what I like to do and etc. is definitely a sign of a new and digital age. In this age, we face similar problems as society did when television became the main form of media. There was a drive to study the effects, both long and short term of exposure and after a long run as an extremely successful medium, views began to tend toward the negative side about television and what it does to us; young people especially. Although problems with the world wide web are not exactly the same, they are certainly similar. We are faced with a technology that is still new. We are unaware of its long term effects in regard to both how it affects us and our society. I think we have been made to believe we are in control of our social media accounts and privacy online similarly to how we believe our vote counts in a presidential election: the appearance is what counts, but who has the money has the real power.