Is Your Social Media a Platform or Just another Tracking Tool?

A couple of weeks ago the news hit the fan. NSA has been tracking our emails. Or, so they said. Everyone became a little paranoid about what else was being tracked. Then today, I pick up the paper and read, Facebook says a bug in its system caused 6 million users contact information to be inadvertently exposed.”

This is nothing new, remember the Hoover files?  If you don’t, one of my all time favorite books by Robert Ludlum, The Chancellor Manuscript, can fill you in.  It’s an old book, but if you can find a copy, it is well worth the read.

I’m not here to get into a political discussion, spying by our government has been around a long time. I understand the argument – safety versus liberty, and, there in lies the rub.

As writers, we’ve all been encouraged to build and engage in a healthy social network. Open up a Twitter account, an Author Facebook Page, join LinkedInPinterest, start a Blog, and network on a regular basis. The purpose is to exchange ideas, knowledge, and get to know others interested in the same things you are.

The more name recognition you have and people you know in the industry, the more mentors available to you. Writers of all genres, beta readers, editors, critique and writing groups, all are a part of the social media network to assist writers in improving their craft. Or, so they say.

For me, I find all social media to be time eating suckers. I sit down planning to spend fifteen minutes and waste a morning scrolling through other peoples dramas. True, I’ve met many talented people and made wonderful connections at times, but Twitter will eat your soul.

And Facebook? I’m not sure what has happened to that site. Lately, all I see are pictures of food, which make me hungry, pictures of pets, or other stupid things.  I receive more requests from people asking for endorsements on LinkedIn than you can shake a stick at, and what the hell is candy crush? I don’t  have a clue.

Technology is creating the surveillance state
By John R. Quain Personal Tech Published June 19, 2013,

It isn’t the NSA you need to worry about. We’ve all had a hand in this via social media.  Google, has lured us down the path as easily as the Pied Piper led children. We thought it was cool Google maps could show us a location, by satellite, right down to the house, until we learned it was our house. Or that, Google was supplying the government information, along with Verizon and the smart phones we can’t live without. Some call it security others marketing.

With every click of your button, the technology you love, track and register information about your habits likes and dislikes, online orders, and Apps. The books you download on your shiny new Kindle, including the words you highlight are a captured, categorized and tailored to market and advertise specifically to you. Their aim is to influence the way you shop, think, sway social values, and, yes vote. Think subliminal advertising on steroids.

They call it marketing, developing a platform and teach you how through  SEO, keywords, Google analytics, etc. to reach the biggest audience. It sounds as if we may all have larger audience than we realized.

I didn’t like mama looking over my shoulder when I was growing up either. The least they can do is leave a comment. I don’t know about you, but I’m almost ready to go back to hardback books, paper billing, and old-fashioned pen and paper.  What about you? What do you think?

Tell me your story.

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