Some thoughts about Facebook, Google and privacy. And Apple?

Since the Facebook scandal regarding Cambridge Analytica came out, I’ve started more and more to think about stuff that bugs me. It has to do with ads and feeling targeted. The crazy thing about this is that this used to NOT be a problem at all – for years. But now it has started to grow on me, and I’d like to know why.

The Facebook scandal was really not a shock for me. I’ve known this for years, and like so many others have said, I sort of known when I signed up for an account with FB that I’d be targeted and followed across the web. That used to be fine and dandy. Why? Because I did not feel targeted. For years and years I haven’t seen a single ad on Facebook. All these ads people keep talking about? What the F is that? I’ve never seen it. And then they came. I do not really remember when it happened, but probably somewhere during 2017, the ads started popping up. It also probably started with Google as well, but I’ll try and keep this separated. If I can that is.

I have been a daily, and active Google and social media user since it was created. Or something like that. I created my first Google account in 2009, and my first FB account probably during 2008 when it started to become popular in Sweden. I’ve had (and still do with basically all of them) Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr and many other social media profiles and it is a daily routine to check Facebook whenever possible, watch a bunch of YouTube videos, make a blog post and look at images on several platforms. However, I tend to use Twitter and Instagram very rarely these days. Basically every day, I do at least one Google search for various things that are on my mind and everything has been pretty good. For years. What I feel about all of this right now is a bit mixed, but I’m guessing that not much will change.

I’m a huge Google fan as well. I know a lot about their products and I teach many on how to use them. I also trust Google’s products a lot. I don’t really think they’re spying on me while I write on a Google docs document… Regarding the other end of the Spectrum, Apple that is, I’ve basically forgotten all my knowledge about them. Until recently when I started to become obsessed with having reliable technical devices in my possession in stead of crappy and unreliable ones. All I knew until then was that Apple sucks. IOS is crappy and unusable and their products are way to expensive for anybody who are not willing to sell their soul for an iMac. Besides having a 3GS for like 4 months up to a year or something in 2009 and using an Apple computer in high school – that’s all I knew about Apple. The only “positive” thing I can remember about Apple is that I desperately wanted an iMac when it was first released, because they looked so cool! Back then I didn’t even realize that there were different kind of operating systems either. To me, Windows and MacOS was exactly the same. Since learning more about them and their products, my views on technology have vastly changed. It has really opened my eyes and I think that’s an important change. But I’m too poor to do anything about it, I guess. Or maybe unwilling. I don’t know, really. Haven’t decided. All I know is that I can’t talk crap about Apple that much anymore… No matter what they did to Linus Tech Tips. I just can’t do it. Watch the channel Tailosive Tech if you’d like to know a whole lot more on why I can’t laugh at so called Apple sheep anymore. It’s a great channel, even if you hate Apple. He’s taught me a lot.

The thing is that Apple as a company have a huge privacy policy standard. You are not their product. That is why they do not care about spying on you, target you with ads, and why they make products that potentially lasts for years without hiccups. With Google and Facebook – you are the product and therefore they keep track on you to try and sell you more garbage (or change the way you feel about stuff) without you knowing it until it’s probably to late. Apple has made it clear thatĀ  you can feel safe while browsing the web using their products. You will not be followed in the same way that Google/Android and Windows users are. They’ve even gone to a greater strength to try and prevent Facebook ads on the web and them spying on your Google searches so you’ll se less ads etc. I think that’s pretty cool, but I do not know if that is true. More information in the video below:

This post, however is not about me getting an iPhone again. It has more to do with priorities I guess. I still plan on buying a OnePlus 6 if I believe I can afford it when it gets released in a few weeks, but I really have to rant about the thoughts I’ve started to have regarding privacy and those goddamn ads that I see everywhere these days. I also still hope that whenever I get a OP6, I’ll drop the “wanting an iPhone” crap i’ve dealt with for so long… It’s annoying, especially when there’s no real need to make the switch. More about that later.

Just like in the video above, I have searched for stuff I’d like to buy or know more about. Then, hours later I see ads for those products in my Facebook feed. The weird thing is that it especially keeps happeningĀ  AFTER I’ve bought something. Why would I be interested in buying the exact same thing again after I just bought one? Whatever that product may be? Then the ad is useless. It might be more useful if it’s another model, taste, color or whatever else, but it’s been shown to me in another few weeks or months when it’s due time to buy another one of those products again? I mean, I might be interested in buying a new bottle of shampoo in another month, but not a new car or whatever else that’s expensive.

Also my Youtube feed has been garbage lately. I mainly use and watch YouTube via the Playstation 4 app or the app for Android TV. I sometimes watch videos on my phone or on my computer, but I mainly use the TV versions of the YouTube app. In those apps there are several categories to choose from. I mainly watch videos from the recommended, technology, food and entertainment categories. It usually works fine, but for the past months or so I’m basically shown videos I do not like to watch. Also if I watch one single video about technology, or mainly about smartphones, then 90% of my feed is about iPhones or Apple products. Even if the video I just watched had nothing to do with iPhones or Apple in general. It’s like automatically and magically Apple for some strange reason… Instead of videos about Great Danes or veganism that I’d really like to watch!

Now, I do admit that i still watch videos about various Apple products on YouTube sometimes, because I like it. I like watching videos about smartphones, and I’d like to know more about why every programmer uses a mac instead of windows computer and how users feel about iOS vs Android. I do that because I’d like know the likelihood of me being somewhat “forced” to buy a Macbook when I go back to college sometime in the future. I think that is fun, because I also like to hear people’s opinions about stuff. Even if that includes iPhones, and I currently do not plan on buying one. I’m really fricking curious though, so if I get the chance, I might still make the switch and try it out once more. But we’ll see what happens. I’ll try out a One Plus device first, and then we’ll see. Unless someone buys me an iPhone 8 plus/X that is. Then I’d gladly take it! I’m not willing to buy one myself in any shape or form (like on contract) and the iPhone SE is to small for my liking. If the iPhone SE would be all screen like the X and have all the features of the X, then sure but as of now? No, not unless I’d get it as a gift. Then I’d be happier. Because then I did not have to pay for it.

I still however feel somewhat ashamed of me “liking” to watch videos about various Apple products, because I know I can’t/don’t/want/have to buy their stuff. My Lenovo P2 works fine. So does my desktop computer. And the windows laptop. But oh, if I could, I’d really like to try it out… I am still hoping that my future employer will let me use both Apple and Windows products whenever I’m an educated programmer of some sorts. I even hope that the school I’ll go to will make me try it out, just for fun, but also for reals. I mean, what’s the harm, besides how much it will hurt my tiny wallet?

Ok, enough about Apple and potentially getting their products. I have other feelings regarding Apple products and that is just the privacy concerns I’ve started to have as an active Facebook and Google user. I’m so sick of those ads! I do not wish to see videos that I’ve disliked or removed from my YouTube watch history. I do not want to see ads about a career I’m not yet able to achieve until after I’ve finished a degree in computer science. I’m betting you don’t know what I’m referring to there, so let me tell you.

About a year ago I made up my mind to go back to school and become a developer of some sorts. Ever since then I have googled sometimes for the salary etc. of people working as developers. That’s because I’d like to know as much as possible of what it’s like to work and live as a developer. What it’s like to know and breathe code and the benefits from that. Being able to use and work on both a Mac and a Windows computer is awesome in my book, and if I might have to do that in the future, why is there harm to know more about it now? Better to know all the platforms than only one of them, right? Better to know both Swift, C#, C++, Javascript, Java and PHP, Google and all the CMS platforms than nothing, right?

Anyway, since then I’ve also continuously seen ads on Facebook of recruiting firms for developing jobs. Before I realized that they were ads, I clicked on them to learn more, but now I just find all of it so annoying. That’s because I am not a developer of any sorts today and totally unable to look for that kind of work. So stop showing me ads for my dream job, please…

It’s almost to the point that I again feel like I should stop using Google, delete my Facebook account but I know why I won’t do it. Without it, life would be horrible and so boring that I’d most likely kill myself or something. I need Facebook and Google in my life, and I just hope that there are solutions to these feelings and experiences I have regarding me feeling so followed whilst online.

Well. I guess that’s it. If you have anything to say about it, leave a comment below. I’d love to know your thoughts about this.

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