Following an internal discussion last week, I decided to do something I always wanted to do: I created a video. The topic is serious, although the preview picture is not: It is about why you are tracked by Google and Facebook (and many other companies) and what you can do about it.
I have to admit: It was a lot of fun making the video, and I see plenty of room for improvement. But it was a good start and I am planning to do more videos. So feel free to subscribe to my channel and leave a comment. 🙂
Reason for that is Googles and Facebooks ongoing hunt for personal information, ignorance of Privacy and their business model to serve you targeted ads. Its not them alone, though! I for myself decided not to help them in doing so and I just found a wonderful article which summarizes the problem way better then I would be able to.
Read that article. Understand the message. Understand the consequences. And act. Even the smallest change in your behaviour, the decision to buy a pricey (or an used) iPhone next time or to install an Ad-blocking tool could change the world a little bit.
I regularly change my telephones, usually around September, latest in October, I switch to an iPhone, since the new models for the upcoming season are presented in that time frame. But this time, things are a little different. And this has little to do with size and features and much with one other aspect many people tend to ignore.
(This is the German version of my Dear Clara (*), …-article I posted some minutes ago)
Ich bin nicht der Techniker-zu-Deiner-Verfügung
…ich bin nicht der Techniker-zu-Deiner-Verfügung, als den Du mich eventuell ansiehst, weil ich unter Umständen einige Informationen teile, vielleicht Dinge weiß, die Dich interessieren oder wir uns gegebenenfalls mal in der Vergangenheit getroffen haben, ein paar Worte miteinander wechselten oder uns gar beim Turniertanzen gemessen haben.
Wenn Du mich also im sozialen Netzwerk Deiner Wahl etwas fragst, dann gibt es kein Universum, in dem Du von mir erwarten kannst, dass ich Dir innerhalb von Minuten, Stunden oder sogar Tagen antworte. Du wirst Deine Antwort bekommen, jedoch nur zu einem Zeitpunkt, an dem es mir auch passt.
Deshalb tue mir bitte einen Gefallen: Erspare mir, von Dir im sozialen Netzwerk Deiner Wahl gestresst zu werden, und das noch nicht mal 48 Stunden nach Deiner Anfrage. Es wird nicht dazu führen, dass ich schneller oder qualitativ hochwertiger antworte, aber es wird definitiv dazu führen, dass Du dir von mir eine Breitseite und eine geharnischter Antwort einfängst. Und wenn Du Pech hast, dann blogge ich sogar darüber und wenn Du ganz viel Pech hast, rutscht mir sogar Dein echter Name raus, Clara. Deshalb: Frage und frage auch nach – Du sollst Deine Antwort auch haben. Erwarte sie aber nicht in Echtzeit oder zeitnah, deshalb frage lieber zeitiger. Erspare mir Deinen Frust und Deinen Stress, sonst bekommst Du das genau so zurück.
…I am not a Technician-at-your-Disposal, even though I am perhaps sharing quite a lot of information, perhaps may have quite a lot of knowledge in regards to things you are interested in and we perhaps met at some time in the past, had a conversation or two or even battled with each other in a ballroom competition.
So, whenever you ask me something in some social network, there is no world in which you would have the right to expect an answer from me within minutes or even days. I WILL answer your question, but at a point of time, when it fits into my life as well.
Additionally, although it might look differently, I am not following social networks very closely. I am looking into them not more often than every second day, I have no FB-messenger or similar software installed, I actually refuse to use the default applications for such networks and I have turned off any notifications from those networks (Twitter, Facebook, etc.).
Therefore, kindly hesitate to stress me in your social network of choice not even 48 hours after your inquiry. It won’t improve my reaction time, it won’t give you a better answer, but it will guarantee you my frustration and a harsh response. So, do me a favor, Clara: Ask me, but ask me in time. Expect an answer and perhaps remind me of that answer (you deserve it), but don’t bug me or lay your stress and frustration on me, since I will answer you in exactly the same way then.
Using WhatsApp, Telegram or Facebook Messenger? Thinking of including me in your group conversation?
I am a very busy person, and as such, I need to be able to focus on my work or on my recreation (no joking, I need to focus on recreation). Including me – without having asked for my explicit permission to do so – in your group conversation would distract me from that, I would receive a lot of conversational spam, which I’m not interested in.
That’s why I usually leave all group conversations.
It is simply not of interest to me, reading the same complaints, jokes, hoorays or stories which I try to avoid in real-life in my messenger, where it is more personal to me. Sometimes, this even feels offensive to me. Additionally, it is usually the very same group of people leading the conversation there – and while I am very strong in communications, I don’t want to be forced to read the same – sorry – trash and the same mimimimi-stuff all over again, especially, since I don’t have the time to answer, because I tend to think and formulate my answers carefully. Plus it often shows me, how limited these persons are and how egocentric their view of the world actually is. Finally: Answering that crap usually means wasting my personal time and distracting me from the important things in my life – my family, my friends, and my work.
So, kindly do me a favor: Unless I explicitly expressed my permission and wish to be included in your group conversation, don’t include me. Let’s stay friends without that conversational noise.
I had a blog for several years, but for some reason I actually don’t remember anymore, I dumped it at the end of 2015 – I guess, because it was way more convenient to simply spit out something on the social network of your choice. And because it was way cheaper.
But, it turned out: This was not a good idea.
Why? Because you get literally lost in the curated news feeds. You only get fast reactions instead of conversations. There is no sustainability in publishing everything at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram. You won’t be found, you won’t be recognized. It simply is not worth it, at least not when you are not publishing the content on your own platform and only use these networks as multiplier.
So, I restarted my blog last year (at least sort of) and hosted it over at SquareSpace.com – which again turned out to be one of my lesser favorable ideas, since that service is reliable, but basically offers no integration and no real comfort to the average blogger. Therefore I did not really blog, I built blog pages – it took hours to finish something.
So, back to basics.
I’m back with a WordPress blog, actually hosted at WordPress.com. They charge me 300,– bucks a year, so I better try something to make use of this amount of money I just spent.
Therefore, I decided to take back my data and my content into my own hands. I will (again) post everything here first, and then (perhaps) in some social network. This applies to everything, including texts, as well as links, images and opinions.
Why? Because now it is my content again. Not the content of some network which uses it to make some money. Not the content of some aggregators and some marketing agencies. I can start conversations, share it to my liking and do not need to care about their rules and regulations.
My girlfriend asked me this afternoon, how to log out of the official Twitter App for Android. Turned out, it was very well hidden, since they – of course – don’t want you to ever log out of it.
This made me think of the way I personally use these apps (Twitter, LinkedIn, XING, Facebook) and why I always should remain logged in there and if it wouldn’t make sense to actually uninstall them and use a browser instead.
Well, I did so. I installed Firefox Focus (Firefox Klar as it is called here in the DACH-Region), navigated to these sites, added Homescreen Shortcuts and uninstalled or at least cleared the memory of the social media apps.
Frankly, it is a little bit more work to log in into the mobile websites all the time (which one could circumvent using something like LastPass) and the Firefox Focus Icons look very dull, but it feels right since every time I close the website, all cookies get erased. This prevents my privacy outside these networks and helps keeping my mobile devices fast.
Feels good so far, let’s see, how long I will remain committed to this experiment.