What Are You Building Up?
Nothing is ever really free with zero strings attached so what are you building up (the answer isn’t necessarily your brand)? Why is it important to know what you are building up (because these companies support things)? Are there alternatives I should explore (yes there are)? What you post and where matters because your participation on these platforms is taken as agreement with them.
Why is it important to know what I'm building up?
You are and will be known by the friends you keep, the tools you use, and things you are willing to permit.
21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;
22 abstain from every form of evil.
1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 (NASB)
Whether you are building a brand or just posting cat videos you are creating a permanent record on the internet. For some good tips on what to do and not do click on the image which is from the article linked. The point? Consider the implications of what you post because it might come back to haunt you. Futher, consider where you post it too. You give your authority, and approval to the places you go both in real life and in your virtual life. The internet is not anonymous. If someone wants to find out where you go on the web, they can easily find out as those records are maintained by the ISP you connect with. Don’t think this is a big deal? Let’s look at how BIG a deal this really is…
Facebook Symbol: FB
What are you building up? These company’s bottom line. These companies are worth billions of dollars. They have become the public square for free speech yet are not bound by rules requiring them to permit free speech, and they don’t. On a daily basis these platforms decide what is and is not socially acceptable speech. Human beings who are flawed just like you and me make decisions about what is good for you and I rather than letting you and I make those decisions ourselves. When we participate with them we are adding the weight of our presence to their annual report of subscribers, which they use to demonstrate how healthy they are. Our very presence logged in and posting bolsters their belief that they are right in what they decide. Do you think they are? If not, why are you still there?
Are there alternatives I should explore?
MeWe: This platform presents the tagline that “your private life is #Not4Sale” that hints at one of the ways the other social media giants make their money, which is selling your browsing history, preferences, and voluntary gift of personal data that is encapsulated in all those nifty “which kind of potato are you?” quizes.
DuckDuckGo Search Engine: Every bit of data gleaned from the internet upon which we spend so much time is sold to the highest bidders. Doubt that? Play a little game. Go out to Google’s search engine and do a search for Pop-tarts. Click on any link in that search and spend just a moment on that website. Now, go back to your regularly schedule web browsing. VOILA! The ads presented to you on those websites will likely have Pop-tarts incorporated into them (Pop-tarts are not part of a cabal of evil, though we might make the case the search engine companies are).
The alternative to using Google, because Google knows everything and yes, that is a double entendre? DuckDuckGo offers search engine functionality equal to Google’s and they don’t sell off your information, or didn’t as of this writing.
Faith Life: Faithlife.com is a website that caters to the Christian community. Their claim is that they won’t pull down your posts of faith like the other platforms do based on a mistaken idea that it is somehow “intolerant” to quote scripture or make a profession of faith. Yes, the Christian doctrine has things people of certain political leanings do not agree with. The problem is they portray that disagreement as hate rather than an ideological disagreement. This is disingenuous and dysfunctional.
If you're not with them you're against them
The masters of social media are adept at spreading what they believe. They do not expect our compliance, they demand it.
24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
Matthew 6:24 (NASB)
The irony of my posting this to Facebook is not lost on me. Yes, I at once realize that I am posting this in the very den of the lion against which I have been railing above. Note the original post was not on Facebook but on my website. This builds me up. Second, yes I posted about it on Facebook because that is where I have been building my presence. I am working to change that. I have been reworking my website to be my home-base. I have a few more pieces to put in place. Once those pieces are in place, I will darken Facebook no more. Until that time I will continue to do as I have done, but this decision has been made. Now, to prudently and with discernment implement that decision. Good luck with your decision.