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Blog 10: Data Detox

Nervous Wrecktitude: Data Detox

I used to feel superior because I turned my location services off. I am not cool. I’m an offender. I don’t lock my Android phone. My iPad password is woefully inadequate, so is my password to enter my Mac laptop. What is wrong with me? Data Detox Privacy and Security smacked me awake with a cold ocean splash. I should know better. What is wrong with me? I ask it again. I am overvaluing convenience and sacrificing my privacy in the process. If I want to be a good advocate for others’ data literacy and security, shouldn’t I start by taking a look in the mirror? The real one. I started off posting in this course with a story about my 6-yr old self hiding behind a huge mirror that my father made. I wanted to see if it was double-sided. Hey, curious kid, get back here…adult me needs you.

I’ve become complacent because life is complicated. Well, it high time that I rectify my nervous wrecktitude. The Data Detox materials made me really uncomfortable. Well, pearls can’t emerge unless the oyster’s interior gets agitated by grains of sand. This is simply an analogy. I do not by any means foresee myself as a potential pioneer in this field! But through the seeds we plant, we are going to grow crops that will be harvested. Power in numbers of my brilliant colleagues and professors!

I can help myself and through doing that, help others. Why do I always ask Google and YouTube things? As I have mentioned in multiple posts, Google purchased YouTube and their marriage is marching all over me. But I ask a very serious question. What am I supposed to do? I often start research projects by looking at these platforms to brainstorm. Why don’t I stop typing and pick up a pencil instead. Google and YouTube should not replace brainstorming or planning with a good old journal and pencil. Use SM to ask pointed questions to experts in the field. Get your head outside of the computer, you cyborg (me).

Ok, now that I’ve flagellated myself, I want to look into more ways that I can implement Data Detox. I’m good about my phone as I don’t check it compulsively (gold star). But what about email? I’m the email queen. I email myself to remind myself to do things, that is how much I use it. I then re-forward the reminder email to myself. I think I need to kick it analogue for a bit. I used to make lists, with wonderful doodles, etc. Am I too good for paper? I’ve just gotten so used to typing. And I have no excuse. I have a lot of pretty journals everywhere. They are likely in my “To Be Read” book pile. I feel so bad, the unread books are like little neglected children.

I do have to redeem myself a bit. Before the pandemia, I bought an inexpensive journal with a cute octopus (perhaps squid?) on it from Kean’s B&N (I miss you). You know, I’ve been using the thing for class projects now and it is liberating to look at my own scribbled notes. I remember last semester, Dr. Zamora talked fondly about talking to her texts via hand-written annotations. That is awesome. Hypothes.is also affords us with this dialogic approach, with the GREAT bonus of seeing what others have highlighted and commented on.

I also need to take stock (pardon the pun) of my consumer habits. Big spoiler alert here: I like cute accessories (scarves and earrings) and makeup. Is it necessary for me to jump in when Amazon or Sephora tell me that something is running out of stock? Chill. You have at least 5 shades of red and brown lipsticks, each! You think you are cool and fun, but you are doing what you disdain: FOMO (fear of missing out). I’m going to curb myself. I make it seem like I am a constant shopper, but I am not. However, do my eyes get distracted by shiny objects? Yes! I just learned today that you can disable the settings on FB so that it doesn’t show you ads anymore. A friend posted something about it. How serendipitous, right?

I did notice that ads are getting really aggressive, as explained in the Data Detox unit. I remember I first saw it when I checked people.com (which got rid of its Beauty page, where are you hiding it?). I distinctly remember a pop-up where People asked me if I wanted to be a more valued customer by buying a subscription. Something of that ilk. I’m good with that. The Bully Button! I got angry and very quickly pressed, no thank you, I want to pay more (hey idiot, I was looking at it for free). But this is everywhere. I go to Sephora, do you want to sign up for Rouge Membership? (I succumbed, it is actually a good deal). Oh Sephora, et tu Brutus? You used to ship my stuff for me super quickly when the Internet was a teenager. Now, it is a special privilege to get free shipping. Amazon Prime, guilty. B&N Card Member, yes (but I don’t regret that one at one bit, because, well you know…books). I lament the fact that independent bookstores are doing so poorly. My favorite ones used to be the ramshackle ones you used to find in the City. Are you crying? There’s no crying in NetNarr!

I just need to be more aware! Mindfulness, Dr. Zamora has spoken about this since I met her! Mindful, Medea, repeat it to yourself. Your inbox can wait, it really can. Don’t be fooled that you are getting the very last pair of fuzzy holiday socks. There are more socks. They will restock. Duh, it didn’t say Limited Edition. I’m smarter than this!

With regards to my final project, I’d love to create a short a/v piece about how technology can have a dystopic influence on life. I don’t have Alexa, but just imagine if she tried to order stuff for me automatically. I remember reading in the news awhile back, how a little kid ordered all these toys via this tool. The parents didn’t know what had occurred until the toys arrived (I believe that is the story, if I am wrong please correct me). It was a cute story. But what if Alexa becomes an evil magistrate, dictating lives with her pushy self? What if she gets inside your head and shows you only what you like. Part of the joy of life is stumbling on the unknown! These are just ideas. I look forward to exploring other avenues of artistic expression with all of you. Art is good for the soul, mind, body and brain. Let’s use it for good.

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By medea

Creative writing is my passion. Coffee, books and music are a hallowed trinity for me. I am pursuing an M.A. in English Writing Studies and am a Graduate Assistant. I am eager to learn the intricacies of the NetMirror! Follow me on twitter @medeathewriter!

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