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Beware Big Al

Uncategorized Apr 28, 2022

A while back, a movie called The Social Dilemma swept across the world, explaining the dangers of social media at both an individual and societal level.

It was one of the first times I finally grasped the impact of Big Al – or as most know it – the algorithm. The reality is that in this day and age, Big Al is EVERYWHERE.

My Mom was looking to buy a dress for my brother’s wedding. She had a conversation with the mother of the groom who mentioned a little boutique store in the area that was a hidden gem of sorts.

Then Mom went home, and as she logs into Facebook, wouldn’t you know it – there are ads from that very boutique store in her news feed!

It must have been the Holy Spirit,” my Mom excitedly said as she told us the story.

Damn you, Big Al.

I didn’t have the heart to tell my Mom it was the algorithm that day, although we have had other conversations since explaining that some coincidences are actually more orchestrated than we realize.

There are certain algorithms that can even read physiological indicators (like pulse, body temp, etc), predict the emotional state you are in, and cater your digital experience accordingly! Absolutely crazy.

Big Al knows you better than you. 

The news feed content, ads, and overall experience online is catered. It is unique to you. That is great in some ways, but if you’re pursuing freedom you must be careful.

Watching The Social Dilemma reminded me why having clear boundaries about your social media usage is important. Personally, I think it should be off your phone and tablets. Use it on your laptop and have some parameters around when and how long you will use it for.

You don’t have to follow that guidance directly, but if you don’t have a few guidelines in place, I highly recommend you start ASAP.

Cheering you on,
Sathiya

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