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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

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Ellen G

How interesting! I'm going to try it! I bet the first thing I learn is how reflexively I go to click "Like" buttons. Thanks for this interesting report.

Chanson de Roland

Dear Mr. Jenkins: Even for those few of us who don't use Facebook, in my case because I find its privacy policy or, I should say, its disclosure policy, to be repugnant, this is an excellent piece. Aside from the well established fact that using Facebook or any of the other supposedly free--and aren't they all supposedly free--social media sites requires exchanging your personal and often private information in consideration for the dubious value of social media's services, your experiment here and those that you cite, supra, reveal a more profound truth: That in social media, we are truly living in the Matrix, where our reality is an artificial one fashioned either by firms' profit motive or by the desire of governments to control us.

This immediately raises some fascinating questions: What exactly is the nature of the reality in various matrices (i.e., Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)? What effect do those artificial realities have on us? How are those false realities changing us? What does that mean for our political culture? What does that mean or how we interact socially? For what we believe to be true? Does this help make us one people with a common set of shared fundamental beliefs? Or does it divide us into factions, where we only listen to and hear what pleases and what the masters of the matrices want us to hear to accomplish their ends? And do these matrices effect a bigotry of thought by obliging us to conform to the orthodoxy of our own insular group on social media? And what of destroying our individuality, freedom, and independence by compiling dossiers of our lives and using that information to subject us to government and/or corporate control and use? And once in the Matrix or matrices, how do you escape? Can you escape?

These are, I think, fascinating questions on which much and perhaps everything will depend.

Susan

Is google plus a better option, or does it work pretty much the same way?

George

Susan:

The term "better" is subjective and broad. What is best for one person may not be best for another. And, I do not know your online needs and habits. If the group of people (e.g., classmates, family, coworkers, clients, peers) you wish to communicate with all use a specific social networking site (e.g., Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, etc.), than that site would seem best for you. There are several comparisons available online. This is not an endorsement, just a link provided to get you started:

7 Reasons Why Google Plus Is Better Than Facebook
http://www.technobaboy.com/2011/07/05/7-reasons-why-google-plus-is-better-than-facebook/

Many consumers (only) use the mobile app version of some sites. And mobile app version vary. If that describes your online use, that the quality of the apps available may affect your decision about which is best. I cannot decide that for you. You know your online habits best.

And, as with any social networking site or mobile app, consumers should closely read its policies (e.g., terms of use, privacy) to ensure that it is consistent with your values or needs.

Good luck,

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

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