Today Mark Zuckerberg will testify in front of Congress on a variety of issues, including privacy. Thus, it is an excellent time to reflect on social media, particularly as it relates communication, connectedness, privacy, and truth. Many people foresaw FB privacy issues as inevitable (like Tim O'Reilly below), as the natural consequence of a "neutral" platform that relies on targeting algorithms are ultimately susceptible to manipulation. I am not simply referring to the last election cycle, but also advertisements of Bombas and Mahabis in my FB feed, things that I have already bought! I look to social media for genuine connection and information that is relevant and useful. In fact, this is the model behind The Loupe app. This week, we explore the internet and social media in search of the truth!
The User Manual
WTF: What's the Future and Why it's Up to Us by Tim O'Reilly
This book covers so much ground that it will require a re-read with a highlighter! The starting proposition and philosophy is to give more than you get. This attitude will propel society, and the human condition, forward. The optimism O'Reilly shares are both encouraging and contagious. He then delves into insights both general and specific that will change your view of the world and what is to come. He touches on some of the problems that social networks like FB are experiencing. This is an excellent book for anyone interested in the future ... which should be, umm, everyone.
The Anti-FB Social Media App
What if you could start over with your social media profile? Have you considered throwing away your Facebook page and starting a new one? Maybe Bryan S. Verona instead of Bryan Verona. Are you tired of seeing the same Facebook posts over and over again, or seeing the jacket you just googled magically or surreptitiously appear on your facebook page? If you're interested in building a more authentic social network, you may consider trying Vero. It is billed as the anti-Facebook. Its motto is a social network that let's you be yourself, explaining the name Vero (meaning truth). Vero considers its users their customers, not advertisers, and promises no data mining ever. Without the advertising revenue, the platform is social connection only. Additionally, when you post, you can segment by who receives, no need for separate accounts (Finsta, anyone?). The categories are close friend, friend, acquaintance, followers -- check it out and see if they're onto something (around 3 million users think they are).
Read All Sides of an Issue
In my humble opinion, the truth is usually in the middle. However, bias is natural and the concept is relative. All Sides acknowledges the inherent bias in anything and attempts to quantify it relative to the "average" judgment of an American. This is accomplished by using blind surveys, third party data, and community voting to reveal. The idea is to be at least aware of an article's bias, as well as one's own bias filter, to be more informed on a subject. All sides serve articles from Right, Left, and Center on trending stories of the day. Of course, you can hit your default publication, but reading other views may be more valuable.
The Truth is a Relief!
I am optimistic that the world will agree that truth is more powerful than fiction. In that vein, this advertisement from Suave struck a chord in me. In the video above, Suave reveals the tricks shampoo companies use to enhance the impact a product appears to have on its user. We all suspect (know) that certain images seem impossible, or unobtainable, so why bother obscuring reality? Think everyone is in agreement (should we ask All Sides); truth in advertising, authenticity in life, are ideals worth striving for in 2018!