Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

The Social Dilemma Documentary and YOUR Social Media Privacy Settings

If you have not yet watched the new Netflix documentary, “The Social Dilemma,” stop reading this post now and immediately go watch it. Or at least commit to watching it as soon as you have a spare 94 minutes. There’s a good reason it’s poised to be the first documentary to ever be the “#1 movie on Netflix” for a month. This is one of the best efforts to date to “connect the dots” about why we need “a technology correction,” in the words of digital media pundit and educator Jason Neiffer (@techsaavyteach). Like consumer protection laws, in the United States we need legal and regulatory changes which both formally recognize our rights to data privacy, and restrict the ability of corporations to harvest and sell our data to anyone who will pay to manipulate our emotions, attitudes and behaviors.

One of the specific, tangible things each one of us needs to do in the face of the issues and dilemmas raised by this documentary is to carefully examine our social media and website search preferences. On Facebook, Google, Amazon, and other websites which primarily thrive financially because of “surveillance capitalism,” we each need to look at our PRIVACY SETTINGS and make changes.

But there’s a problem. These settings are complicated. And for many of us, ceding some of our data and privacy to a Silicon Valley based company yields tremendous benefits. Some people (like me) don’t want to delete all our social media accounts, and simply “go dark” online.

Enter the Jumbo Privacy iOS app. I’ve been using it for several months, and I really like how it makes RECOMMENDATIONS for your privacy settings on apps and websites like Facebook, Google, YouTube and Instagram, and attempts to explain both why it recommends specific changes and what the impact / effects of those changes could be on your use of those services and apps. Last night, I recorded a 5 minute video tutorial / screencast highlighting some of the ways the Jumbo app works to make recommendations and (if you choose) actually CHANGE your privacy settings on multiple websites and apps.

Jumbo has a free tier as well as several paid subscription tiers with different features. Before you balk based on the idea it’s not free… Consider the social media truism, “If you’re not paying for it, you’re the product.” Privacy is IMPORTANT and IMHO, it’s worth paying for. I’m currently a paid subscriber at the mid-level “Jumbo Plus” level. It’s worth the cost.

In addition to checking out the Jumbo Privacy app, consider the suggestions included in the Data Detox Kit. (@info_activism) There are LOTS of different ways we can each take action to further protect our privacy and guard our personal data. I’m thankful to Tristan Harris (@tristanharris), co-founder of the Center for Human Technology (@HumaneTech_), and all the other people who worked to bring the “The Social Dilemma” documentary to a screen near you.

It’s a film you need to not only watch, you need to talk about it, and share your thoughts with others. Our needed “technology correction” isn’t going to happen until a LOT of us make our voices heard to our elected officials and demand legal and regulatory changes.

To hear me rant further on this and other topics related to digital privacy, check out the weekly podcast and webshow I co-host with Jason Neiffer, the “EdTech Situation Room.” (@edtechSR) Privacy, media literacy and digital citizenship are several issues (among many relating to educational technology) about which I am defensibly passionate. 🙂

The Social Dilemma Documentary and YOUR Social Media Privacy Settings by Wesley Fryer, on Flickr
The Social Dilemma Documentary and YOUR Social Media Privacy Settings” (CC BY 2.0) by Wesley Fryer

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