Are Young People About to Revolt Against Technology?
It’s been pointed out time and time again: young people spend too much time on their phones and computer screens. It’s almost impossible to get them to go out and have meaningful conversations. However, this is a stereotype. Mind you, there is some truth to the complaints, but when employment, entertainment, and social networks are at your disposal at any time, anywhere, it is a wonder more people don’t turn to phones all the time.
There is also something a bit unsettling in the world of young people today. Ironically, more and more people are starting to express their displeasure at the modern tech marvels. Is it true and, if so, why?
Data collection through cookies is all well and good – up to a point. The problem arises when targeted ads are pushed onto people without them having almost any say in the matter. Of course, you could edit your cookie preferences, install a workaround, or simply not visit the sites, but that really limits how we go online.
Googling symptoms of a medical condition should not lead to ads for ‘miracle cures’, especially if you are trying to make a search online with your friends and/or family present. And we are still talking about the legally-obtained information, as opposed to the other kind.
The big part of the concern among young people today is how much information corporations have about us. Let’s set aside the conspiracy theories about billionaires chipping us, as we already disclose a lot about ourselves through our phones and social media without meaning to.
It is not at all comforting that a powerful company knows your age, gender, political beliefs, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, education level, other credentials, and which group needs to be demonized in a political campaign in order to get your vote.
Sure, we do have a basic human right to be forgotten from the internet. However, celebrity leaks, revenge by ex-partners, and the average corporation’s view on what human rights are and how much they need to be honored are proof that this is not enough.
Another issue is that the legality of information gathering is still pretty much in the air, regardless of things like the EU General Data Protection Regulation. Our devices are listening even when we don’t need them to. It’s like having a little spy in your pocket.
Furthermore, there is a concern regarding the security measures inside the companies that have our data. Facebook has had several unfortunate breaches, meaning that not only does the network have access to our data – so do some unsavory characters. Every time there is a breach, the company CEO or their spokesperson assures the public that it was an isolated incident and it won’t happen again.
Because of this, many try to limit their profiles to the public and have the barest minimum of information on them. Some even go so far as to have profiles with pseudonyms and e-mail addresses that leave no important information behind.
Top tech dogs have declared that privacy is their top priority, but it is nothing we haven’t heard of before. Some companies are working on ways for us to sell bits of our data we are comfortable with giving. However, there is only one solution that is sound and more and more teens are going for it – logging off.
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