Every day in every way Social media is becoming more of a minefield. It is the #1 source of false information and so called fake news (I really hate using that term). I see so much stuff that’s shared by friends that is blatantly false, especially if it’s political in nature. Obviously from sites or people who are not real, or who will lie about something simply in order to further their agenda. I’d guess that 90% of the “information” which floats around on social media is false or misleading. It leaves most of us to become like Don Quixote, always “tilting at windmills” and fighting invisible enemies…or fighting against causes and/or people who are doing us no harm, but whom we think are our enemies, because we see that they are according to the media outlets, or according to “social” media. Yet most of us cannot tear ourselves away, because social medial is such a powerful opiate, which feeds our ego and our need for positive reinforcement of what we say, and who we are.
Rarely is there a day that goes by in which I do not have to take some measure to combat a hacker, or a thief who originates from Social media. Whether it’s from a friends hacked account, or from information which I or someone else has inadvertently shared, and which bad players from anywhere across the globe have gotten hold of, and think they can use to cheat someone out of money or other goods, or use to further their narrative agendas, no matter what they may be.
Smart phones lend themselves so easily to being compromised, that it almost seems they were created with that purpose in mind. Once bad players get your number, whether by accident or mostly because someone who legitimately has it, sells your information so they can make money from it, you start to get call after call after call from people who want to scam you out of money or sell you something. I’ve talked to people from India, Pakistan or Kenya who say they are from the IRS, and they’re going to put me in jail. I had a dozen phone calls yesterday from numbers I didn’t recognize, and if I answer there is a recording on the other end wanting to sell me insurance, car warranties, online college enrollments, credit cards with lower interest rates, etc., etc.
I first thought back in the early days of social media, the “My Space” days, back in 1999 when I first got on Ebay, that this age of technology was going to be a boon for mankind, and in some ways it is and has been. There is good which has come out of technological innovation. But there is so much negative, especially in the way it has caused good people to think badly, that I fervently wish we could go back to the days prior to rise of this enormous monster. But we can’t. The bottle has opened and the genie is out, or maybe more appropriately the lid to Pandora’s box has been lifted and can never again be closed.
I don’t know what to do, other then to be as careful as possible during my lifetime and to hope my children or my grandchildren will be smart enough to solve this dilemma. I pray they can.