Technology is a fascinating thing that has definitely made our lives easier, but we can't deny that it can be a little bit creepy sometimes.
For example, have you ever wondered if your phone is secretly listening to your conversations?
How else would Facebook or Google know what exactly you have been talking about to your friends and show you an advertisment about it the moment you hang up?
It turns out that tech companies don't even have to listen to your conversations to know what you will be talking about...because you're just that predictable.
According to a former Google design ethicist Tristan Harris, these platforms collect data based on every move you make - from what you read and watch, to what you like and share - and have a "voodoo doll, avatar version of you".
That, according to Harris, basically means that the servers builds an online version of you based on your activities.
The more you use these servers, the more data you're giving the companies that run them, which in turn makes this "voodoo doll" more and more like you with each click.
Think about it, your phone is often linked to your Google account, which pretty much gives it access to everyting you do on the device that you're so reliant on.
Then, you have Facebook, which besides the usual function of stalking friends you don't talk to anymore, you also use to connect to other platforms that requires you to log in.
Ever chosen the option of logging in using your Google or Facebook account because you're too lazy to fill in forms? Yeah, us too. This now gives the platforms even more data on you.
It really isn't a far-fetched idea that all these information can be collected and corraborated to create an online voodoo doll version of you, as Harris put it during a forum at the Milken Institute's Global Conference (we didn't get to go to Los Angeles but did catch the YouTube video).
Speaking about YouTube, Harris also mentioned that 70% of what we watch on the platform is based on suggestions made by it and the algorithm often points you towards the bizzare besides things that you may be interested in.
How often do you just watch what you wanted to watch and leave YouTube without getting sucked into watching the next 'Up Next' or suggested videos?
We think it's safe to say that what we consume online tends to reinforce our beliefs and biases, can be tailored by certain parties to make us believe in what they want you to believe (politics, for example) and basically turn us into puppets dictated by whoever has the most control over technology.
Excuse us while we go and Google ways to avoid becoming technology zombies. Perhaps watch a YouTube video or ten while we're at it!