We are in an era where opinions either shallow or deep are becoming some kind of tools for shaping identities. Opinions given by characters, characters hidden behind avatars, avatars with either many followers or less. Opinions that could make the intelligent sound vacuous and the naive sound like the insightful. Everybody has an opinion these days and one is obliged to respect it else, you would be accused of bigotry.
These days we all live our lives fully behind screens either small or large, becoming One and Zero version of ourselves, entering virtuality, conformed to the realities of a few puppeteers that are constantly behind the scenes; writing, improving scripts and designing stuffs that shapes human behaviour and the question I asked myself was; 'Do they have two heads?'
The signs are obvious but we have chosen to ignore them because distractions are constantly before us that we cannot get a hold of our real self. Why should I or you be at the end of the chain consuming content without filters and not at the beginning, creating and executing ideas that shape human behaviour for good.
I am sure most of us know that the more we feed Facebook, Instagram, twitter with "what is on our minds", the more contents we like and share, the more things we search for online, the more we would get. For example, I am sure some of us have noticed Instagram suggests contents to consume based on the ones we liked, I am sure we have also noticed we get email newsletters based on our search history on certain issues (Yahoo is very vulnerable to that, my inbox is so filled with them that I am tired of deleting). Anyway, these platforms just simply generate algorithms from the history of our activities that could predict our behaviour. In fact, the popular saying that says "show me your friends and I would know who you are" is becoming more like "Show me your timeline(s) and I would know who you are". Another example I want to sight was an experiment I performed on Facebook lately. I noticed a certain nametests or meaww app shared on my timeline by friends and some of the forecasts or predictions these apps give are hilarious. So, I tried the app too on several occasions. At some point I discovered that some of the forecasts were true but some of them were just ridiculous. I tried a particular one "Who is the second half of your heart" for example and I was expecting the outcome to be my wife but the result was one of the guys I mentor. I was so perplexed that I did a little research and I found out that he shares a lot of content tagging me on my timelines. It was the history of his activities connected to mine that the app used to generate algorithms that gave such a result. Another one similar to the first example predicted a colleague and I discovered that it was due to the several hiphop contents I constantly shared with him. So I began to share contents with my wife more and guess what, the narrative changed.
Netflix uses the same principle. You get contents based on your preferences. Siri, Alexa etc uses these algorithms too and they might not be perfect yet but they would some day by the time you have fed their platforms an entire history of your life.
We are headed towards the Artificial Intelligence era, an era where human behaviour could be predicted by objects, an era where bots are threatening to take human jobs, an era where the virtual world would control the real one (The Matrix is becoming real) and the concept behind all of these are that we all feed the clouds with a lot of our personal information, information we would not share with some friends and family. The systems created have the greatest processing speed so they could process information at a speed faster than any man alive which makes them seem intelligent. Humans are smarter than machines, we created these bots and wrote the codes that make these platforms operate in certain ways. These platforms have access to the greatest storage of human information supplied daily and they have speed to process many of them per minute to predict the way we behave.
Invariably, access to the greatest storage of human information + the greatest processing speed = the beginning of AI.
Do not forget that the brain is the smartest tool ever created (Lucy), I am sure it's processing speed is greater than any machine created but we don't use it, then the smart objects came along then we became lazier leaving the machines to do all our thinking. In fact we would invest in those toys to have time to do what exactly? At the long run, we are all vulnerable to threats due to hacking and other security issues. I recommend Black Mirror for those that have not seen it and for those who have should see it again.
Technology has come to stay and the sooner we get involved in the codes of how these things operate, the safer we would be.
In conclusion, social media platforms are information collection tools which is why the companies that harbour our information are the richest in the world. Social media has its merits for those who know how to best use it to gain some form of currency and could be life threatening to those who do not have control of it. I have decided to stay off it for a while and dislike the distractions that it is drowning me in because I realised that if we are ever going to be great or do something great, then we have to defeat the agent smith in our lives and to defeat agent smith, we have to go down the rabbit hole and to go down the rabbit hole we must choose the red pill and to choose the red pill, we have to be bored of what life and everything serves us (this part is not for everyone) to master the craft we purposed to do. We all cannot be influencers!
I believe we can defeat the bots when the time comes sha! We are humans after all (now I sound like Del Spooner).
Anyway, Be Informed, Be Involved and Be Amazing