Review: Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection

Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection
Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Having recently decided as a New Year’s resolution to actually increase my social media presence in the coming year, this book was a particularly frightening depiction of our current enslavement to these powers and the complete eradication of privacy as a cultural norm. Silverman leaves no stone unturned and looks at all the ways in which both social media platforms and the users of them both willingly participate in the wholesale fleecing of nearly every aspect of our personal lives in order to feed the almighty advertisers that keep those very platforms afloat. The future looks even grimmer as technologies become even more embedded in our lives and we the consumers become even more addicted to sharing their data, regardless of the consequences.

One of the best takeaways from Silverman:

John Steinbeck said that poor Americans see themselves as
“temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” In the same way,
today’s Americans tend to see themselves as unrecognized
famous people.

So the real question is what are we all trying to get out of all this sharing? The Internet, as it exist today, is a huge sounding board for our egos. Anonymity is anathema, and unless our every thought/mood/behavior isn’t broadcast immediately it risks being undervalued or worse – not having taken place at all.

Of course, most of readers finding their way to this book won’t be completely surprised by all its revelations. These are the exact reasons I abhorred most social media for quite a few years. So why did I suddenly feel the need to hop back on board? Let me think about that as I post this review to Goodreads, which re-posts it to my personal blog and re-links to my Google+, and is automatically added to my Facebook update feed. That way I am sure this very important review certainly happened!

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