You might wonder why I picked this topic? Well, let me explain. When I first joined Facebook and created an account, I made my personal information available to all my friends. That included my birthday, as well. A couple of years later, after I had replied to hundreds of birthday wishes, I decided not to share that piece of information anymore. Only Facebook, a few close friends, and myself knew when my birthday was. When I started playing poker, I was all of a sudden getting a lot of poker related advertising on Facebook: poker courses, poker T-shirts, etc. To tell you the truth, I almost ended up buying a T-shirt that said: “Never Underestimate A Man Who Plays Poker And Was Born In October” due to the unbelievable coincidence of having come across it.
Last year, I started doing a PhD in sociology on perspectives on hair and masculinity in Japan. All of a sudden, I was getting hair transplant ads every time I logged into my Facebook account. A couple of weeks later, Aderans, the most popular wigmaker in the world, was trying to sell its products on my page. When I bought my first cryptocurrency coins, the ICO ads arrived and I kept getting them on my News Feed on a daily basis. By that time, I’d already suspected that Facebook had failed in protecting our privacy. On the contrary, rather than being protected, we were being sold to other businesses.
Today, right as I was about to start working on a different article, I noticed on Facebook this cool T-shirt that said: “October 1979: 40 Years of Being Awesome. Please excuse my language, but that was the fly on top of the proverbial pile of shit. They were 100% right. That T-shirt was perfect for me. In fact, had I seen it on the street, I would have bought it. Yes, I was born in October 1979 and yes, I’m turning 40. How on Earth did this platform turn me into a product though? My private information was being harvested and sold. My privacy had become a tiny drop in Facebook’s private sea and I was nothing but a fish swimming in it while everyone was watching all my moves. I felt angry and used.
What will the future bring? I believe that platforms like Facebook will have to respect their users and adapt to their needs, or they will disappear and be replaced by new social networks. This is where young projects like Trybe come in, well prepared and ready to take over. The idea of tokenizing data and offering rewards to a platform’s users is revolutionary. Will Facebook be able to keep up with these up and coming revolutionary projects, or will it be swallowed by innovation? Only the future can tell. In the meanwhile, you’ll see less of me on Facebook and more of me on Trybe!