In the early days of Social Media—it must have been around the year 2005—a friend wrote that she would stay off completely and forever. She valued her privacy. She saw absolutely no gain to posting her whereabouts and goings on for the world to see. The state can too easily take that information for purposes of compliance. It was all a plot, in her view, to take away that precious thing, the independence of the individual, robbing everyone of privacy and setting up a comprehensive surveillance state.
She was aghast that more people were not alarmed at what was happening.
At the time, I thought she was nuts. Now, in retrospect, she was right.
Why did I think she was wrong back then? I trusted the private sector. I figured that any business that misused information would face consumer backlash. Plus, I figured that the best way to stay out of harm’s way was to live publicly. The more you post, the more you share, the safer you are because at least this way, the state faces some accountability for its actions. Or something like that.
What I had failed to anticipate was how technology would be so easily captured by government to do exactly what she predicted. Here we are two years following the most egregious impositions on our freedom in many generations and we face a behemoth of Big Tech that might as well serve as another department of government itself, but with almost no oversight whatsoever.
In fact, Mark Zuckerberg himself volunteered his entire platform to Anthony Fauci to be a messenger in favor of egregious public-health measures like lockdowns, mask mandates, and then vaccine mandates. Contrary views were censored. People and platforms were banned. Facebook and other platforms served as government propaganda organs.