While signing up for that free Facebook account so you can share personal stuff with friends and family; have you ever considered that, “Anything that gets you to write down in words your thoughts, ideas and reactions to different topics can be used to manipulate you without you even being aware of what’s going on.” Also, are you aware of the fact that those free discount cards that places like the Newton Walgreens and ShopRite offer keep track of your buying habits; telling them things about your household that you yourself might not even be aware of?
Regarding just the writing end of the equation; imagine for a second that you are the owner of Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. You’ve offered a free service like the ones that these sites offer and you want to test the general public’s sense of entitlement. So! “You spread a rumor that you are going to start charging for the services these sites now offer for free!” The general public is now in uproar.
“Don’t you dare do this,” they write right on your own website. They present their arguments as to why you should not do this and because you have the right software to conduct a full analysis of the reaction you are able to determine what the response is based upon.
Many people fail to understand clearly that what you write can tell anyone with the right background and understanding a multitude of things about your habits, behaviors, triggers, level of comprehension of the environment around you, etc. All of which you give out freely and without any real clue as to what you’ve just done.
Even an Average Joe can identify certain things about you that could come in useful to them should they need to push a button of yours in order to achieve the ends to their own means, simply based on what you right. And if Average Joes can pick up on certain things without the aid of computer software, just imagine what the government or Corporate America can figure out about the mentality of population or target audiences, even with data that doesn’t identify you personally.
Particularly where free discount cards and other services are concerned; chances are pretty good that you could be handing purchasers of data (like the IRS hypothetically speaking) info that would help them to determine which groups of people they need to keep an eye on or can manipulate right into buying various concepts and ideas. And, the beauty part from their stand point is? “We all hand them this kind of information willingly!”
The power of the pen might have been replaced somewhat by a computer keyboard. But in this day and age it is clear to me, understanding things as I do, that it is a double edged sword for sure.