Here’s an excerpt of an email I send to any person or company who wants to stuff all communications with them down the social funnel.
I recently sent this to two people who are heavy into the environmental awareness. I haven’t met either of them, but I’d bet my last dollar they’re liberals. I guess what I’m getting at is that liberalism is by default the examination of all ideas and thoughts. It’s also about freedom and being progressive. Then why are liberals and for that matter just about everyone else following the herd, living as if Facebook and Twitter are how we’re supposed to communicate now? It doesn’t make sense to me.
In her recent piece in the New York Times, “Mark Zuckerberg, Let Me Pay for Facebook“, the author acts as if she’s uncovered a new problem. While I think it’s great that she’s writing about privacy, why has it taken people like her this long to figure out that free apps aren’t free? Good golly. We started zeldab.com in 2007. I saw this coming years ago. Are people really this naive?
Here’s to hoping some entrepreneurs somewhere have figured out that the Internet is broken and that we ought to be able to share our thoughts without making a trade for privacy. If they need any help, I hope they’ll call me.
Here’s the email excerpt:
I saw on your blog that your preferred means of communication is social media. Please recognize there is an ever growing population of those who care about privacy, who think social media is a social disease.
I get it, you want to share your questions with your followers.
But consider this. Right now, environmental advocacy is aligned with the left. So let’s say I post a question to you on social. Now, I’m telling the world and have forever indexed my personal and private views. Anyone with access to data mining software or services can now learn or glean what I believe in. Now let’s say I go to a job interview and the person making the decision about my hire is ultra conservative and far right – in other words, the polar opposite of me. We live in a politically divided country. The #1 cable news company, Foxnews.com, is basically there for no other reason than to inspire the right to get angry. Foxnews.com scoffs at what you and I believe in. It’s a fact that employers everywhere are scraping social media as part of their hiring process and place a high priority on social media profiles.
Am I going to get the job? Put it this way. Given what we know about the world we live in, it’s highly likely that the person interviewing me won’t hire me. Not because I’m not qualified. But because of my political views.
By encouraging me to disclose my personal and private beliefs in public, via social, you’re part of the machine that’s making us less free. How I live and what I believe in is my business — no one else’s. I shouldn’t have to disclose my personal beliefs in order to ask you a question. Without privacy, there is no freedom. Privacy, a key tenet of a free society.
I’ll leave you with this: If the Internet is so great, if it’s such a great liberator, how come the best advice is, “Be careful what you post”? How come we have to be careful about what we post?