That we now live in the information age is no longer news. And as some people would say, information is the new gold.
Today, almost every innovation is operated by some kind of algorithm. The conversations in our space is now chiefly about zeros and ones. Did you know that the amount of data that is gathered in one day, in 2017, is equivalent to what they put together in spans of decades in the previous century, with attendant impact today, on how we live, commute, communicate, work, trade and even love.
Welcome to the world of big data.
With big data they can tell with almost complete certainty where you will have lunch by next week Wednesday, they can tell what part of the world you are likely to go for vacation during summer, what model of car that you like et cetera.
At the end of each day, google can give a clear trail of all of the places you went/visited during the day. If you exchange contacts with a stranger, there is a big likelihood that Facebook will suggest such person as a friend a couple of hours after. That’s the kind of world we now live in. A world where we have never being as vulnerable as we currently are. Your digital footprint is enough to give you away….by providing them with just enough insight into your preferences and sentiments. With this data they can create new products and services for you and bring it to your face and until you see it, you wouldn’t even know you needed it. And the flip side is that sometimes, you are lured into buying, not necessarily what you need but what they have designed for you.
It is why those advertisements are that alluring. When you see it, you don’t mind to get the product on credit (in the name of ‘use now and pay later’). And it’s part of the game. For them, they don’t mind if you get into a huge debt provided their bottom line stays in the green and shareholders are happy. That sales move/product lunch was not a trial, it was well informed (you gave them all the information, consciously or unconsciously). They are not just selling a product to you, but in a sense, you are now the product.
They are working hard on you. Very hard.
And the problem with this is that you may have lost (or be currently losing) control over your sense of choice and on how you are using your resources.
All across the world today, merchants of consumer goods (& even those in the service industry) have played around the numbers and they are promising massive cuts on products and services and arm-twisiting you into making purchases in the name of black Friday. They don’t mind to clutter your life with all of the things you don’t need. It’s subtle manipulation in a sense. A grand conspiracy by a few to capitalize on the masses. The kind that fans the culture of inordinate consumerism that drives the wheels of capitalism.
The sad thing is that not many people are aware of this. And for as long as it gets, they will continue to fall into this trap and remain victims.
But you have a choice.
A choice to be in control of where, how, when and to what extent you will direct your resources. A choice to procure only the things you truly really need per time and the things that you can afford. A choice to not buy things on impulse.
But you will have to work twice as hard to stay ahead of them. Twice as hard to not give away your sense of agency. Twice as hard to rightly define your personal self-worth/dignity (not as a function of what you possess). Twice as hard to rightly define what it means to be happy & content, what it takes to survive with just enough, what it means to live as a minimalist and to remain in charge of your personal world.
….not easy but it is worth all the labour.
Watch your back!