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Why are we OK with big corporations doing what we were afraid of the government doing?

📅 06 Mar 2021

I have been holding off writing this post for some time.

Two reason: One - I didn’t want to be overly provocative. Not there is not a time and a place for that. It’s just that I tend to be very even-keeled. I didn’t want to come out too aggressive. Two - I was worried about my job prospects. I still am, but I think I came to the realization this week that I will not work in a space akin to what I am about to mention.

OK, let’s put some things in context. I was born in the 90s. I have a little first-hand knowledge of this topic but as I’ve discussed before, I really wasn’t into anything tech related growing up. Internet freedom, privacy, etc. was not on my radar.

But I do remember 9-11 in the United States and I remember the broader discussions about privacy after it.

I have had a lot of discussions with friends, particularly recently, that tend to focus on the same general question: “If we were so pissed with how the government was watching us, particularly in the years following 9-11, why did we so easily allow big corporations to do and continue to do nearly the same exact thing?”

Most people I talk to (and this is not to toot my own horn) admit to having a similar thought and acknowledge that I am right in framing it this way.

So the question is: “why?”” Why are we OK with this?

I think for a lot of people, myself included, we were either too ignorant to what was going on and once we grasped it we were already hooked. Or two, we were willing to sacrifice our privacy and some freedom in the name of “convenience”. There is room for other reasons too. And I’d love to hear them!

But just those two are very problematic in my mind. I think the question is still, “why?”

Unfortunately, we have to quickly move beyond why because here we are and we have to deal with it. And the longer we wait to deal with it the worse it will get.

I try not to take things to extremes so even I recognize that not everything about this particular scenario is bad. Some lives have legitimately been improved. Things have been exposed. And positive change has been made.

However, we certainly need to be asking these questions. I don’t think it’s right to simply, in the name of progress, blindly give up everything to big corporations. In fact, I think we should demand better. Some countries have. Others are lagging. Still others seem to not even be aware of the issue. Or even worse, readily give into these big corporations.

That’s why I am proud to be a member of the groups I am. I have come to love more interest-based social media, where I am not only having more fun, but find that I am becoming much better educated about a more focused set of interests.

This is continuing to be a fun journey.

Day 38: #100DaysToOffload

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