Shut the Internet Down

How long have you been using the internet? Has it changed in that time? Leave a comment, I’m really interested.

At the end is a link to something that has just come up on the BBC that really underlines this for me.

How long has the internet been available to most of us? say 15? 20 years? I remember building websites in 2000 with FrontPage. I remember dial up in 1998 and searching for things. I know it has actually been going since the 80s but actually available to the mainstream I want to talk about.

So, it started so well. Information was out there, social media started. Personally 10 years ago was quite nice. I know in the background black data was pissing around, but to your general user, they could build a nice little website of their own, they could join facebook and find friends they hadn’t spoken to for years, they could find facts easily. It seemed like a really nice and useful way life was moving. Yes children were starting to not leave the house quite so much, yes children didn’t seem to quite have the same childhoods we had had in the past.

By paying for a little help with tags or ads you could help your little website get seen a bit more. That was nice.

Then something started happening. Original thoughts and ideas were getting stolen and copied, and it was really too difficult to stop.

You started to notice that your searches were really a lot more relevant to you, they were showing your town?

Social Networks started monetising, and adds started appearing. Shitty ads on facebook, about how the queen uses certain face-creams etc, complete and utter crap ads. Instagram that originally was for ‘insta..nt sharing of photos’ now was showing an ad every eleventh photo, and then algorithms kicked in and you didn’t see your mates pics chronologically but how instagram decided they wanted to according to their system.

Twitter the same.

Now you do a search for anything and you’ll find down the side a pile of shitty ads of the last thing you looked for being sold very cheaply in a city next to yours, a little known secret that people your age do to get what you want!

And then you discover that all those quizzes your friends have been doing on facebook, all the steps you have taken with your fitness tracker, every page you have looked at, almost every detail of your life has been logged and is filed somewhere, and is potentially being used to influence massive decisions with scammy companies like Cambridge Analytica etc they are not the only ones or the worst. The very fact that Trump was voted in in bizarre circumstances, the very fact that Brexit was voted in in bizarre circumstances begs the question how.

So the latest twist in all of this is the new GDPR ruling that is coming in at the end of May. Effectively it will mean that no one is allowed to keep anyone else’s data – without their express permission (anything that could identify a person – a name will do if there’s a way to know it’s you) will not be allowed. The implications for companies, for government bodies, for social media, for e v e r y t h i n g is fucking massive.

I personally think it is time we shut the whole bloody internet down.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-43758910/the-design-tricks-that-get-you-hooked-on-your-phone

7 comments

  1. Like most things, there is a good and bad side. I have seen and heard of how the facebook and other social network page help the OAP sometimes for days it is the only way they are in contact with another person, they can chat reminisce about how things used to be. In other words, they still feel part of the world. Then there is the bad side the grooming, the terrorists using the net etc. we all know the bad things in life that can and do happen, I find that if it used wisely the internet can be and is beneficial.
    I find that treating the Web like an old-fashioned postcard where the postman and all and sundry can read it is the right approach for me. In other words, do not write anything you would be ashamed of.
    Thank you for raising the subject.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes of course, there are always two sides to the coin, I am just really concerned about one of the sides at present, the negatives appear to outweigh the positives. I do wish many people would think like you do, that everything said online is public – forever! 😉 Thank you for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a tough subject. You approached it well. Generally, my rule of thumb is everything in moderation. Because our relationships and communication are so reliant on the internet, moderation is impossible. It’s similar to when I was a kid and I would spend hours on the phone, tying up the line in the daye before call waiting. One day, wireless phones were introduced. And then I could talk and do other things, introducing a new way to multi-task. Today, the internet has become the modern version of telephone lines, and wireless phones on steroids. It replaced card catalogs. It connected us to more things than we care to know. Just like any innovation and technology, I don’t think you can go backward. All you can do is practice self-control. Just because the information is there doesn’t mean you need it, and just because the access is there, doesn’t mean you can’t seek an alternative. It’s cheap and easy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. For the past seven years, I have worked predominantly via the Internet, os it plays a big role in my life. The way you can earn has certainly changed in both good and bad ways. I first started using the Internet only for email. When I worked in education, I would often teach the kids how to use the Internet for researching ideas. It has changed a lot and I truly believe you can find out any piece of information online.

    Like

      • I have mainly made my money through writing and that has changed a lot. I generally get paid set fees for web content as passive income is a bit of a thing of the past due to changes in online advertising. I had a crafts business online at one point, too. I gave that up because I had two more children and couldn’t have all the jewellery making things lying around the house.

        Liked by 1 person

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