The End of Individuality? A Response to Tuesday’s Class

In class on March 24th, we discussed what John Foreman calls the “destruction of mysterious humanity.” He claims that data tracking dehumanizes us by analyzing our every move, and companies use the information to “squeeze us dry”. It’s true. Corporations want our money, but will their tactics really rob of us of our individuality? I don’t think so. When was the last time, for example, you became interested in something because you saw an ad for it on your computer? Will personalized advertisements really spell the end of experiencing new things? Of course not; inspiration comes from everywhere and anywhere, and to be honest, I would rather see ads for concerts and electronics than for tampons. We discussed how these ads also, in a way, show us disrespect by treating us like cattle. Maybe we can turn this around, though. These companies respect us enough to realize that we are all different and therefore do not need the same ad experience. They respect our individuality and realize that to make money off of us, they have to cater to us as individuals. The NSA, however, doesn’t discriminate; they monitor us regardless, despite our differences. Perhaps they respect our extremely tiny change to incite violence and terror, but while a corporation wants to affect everyone with their tracking, the NSA only casts a huge net as a failsafe. Furthermore, we don’t have to be tracked by corporations, unlike the NSA. No one forces us to use Google’s free services; in fact, anyone can make a Google search without an account. They simply ask that if you want to play on their playground, you play by their rules as well. Sounds fair to me, especially since they don’t force us to buy anything, but hey– maybe I’ll enjoy that suggested video on my YouTube sidebar.

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