This past week, the news screamed my next blog topic. Surveillance, the NSA, that whistleblower guy, the government is in our stuff. “We are being watched.”
The first thing that crossed my mind was: Shocking-Not! Then big deal, companies are reading my stuff all the time, it’s not a big leap that the government is too. Here’s how I know:
I was reading the news on the computer and literally right next to the article was an Amazon ad showing me their latest vacuum cleaners. I had been doing research on vacuums on Google the day before. Gee coincidence? Mmm, no. Or could it be that Amazon “mined” that info and did me a solid by showing me their inventory? Bingo! (read in a sarcastic tone)
These days, it seems more writing workshops are dedicated to the internet, your footprint, getting your name out there and “branding.” It’s easy and practically free. Workshop speakers extol the virtues of having a Facebook Fan Page, a Twitter account, a Goodreads account, Amazon Author Page. “It’s a great way to meet people, to interact with fans, to create a base, to put yourself out there.”
During the workshops, the speakers seem to talk more about time management—the internet can be a real time suck—than what I’ll call the creep factor. The creep factor is that feeling I get when I’m sitting in one of these workshops and I’m wondering if I want to have everything out there. That’s before I realize I’m already out there. I check my bank account on line, I have EZ pass, I’ve had an email account for over fifteen years and a website for almost as long.
Bottom line: The internet is here to stay. It is a game changer. A bell we cannot un-ring!
All of us, citizens, small businesses, the government, corporations, etc. are out there. In less you are and have been completely off the grid—which isn’t you because you’re reading this—you are already out there.
The debate is on! How much government intrusion is too much, how much should Big Brother know? How do we gain control over our info? Is that even possible?
Each of us has to decide what amount of exposure is best for our careers, our lives and our sanity. It’s the next part of this debate and it’s one worth having. I started, anyone want to go next?