Much like research 50+ years ago was mistreating the research subjects, internet service providers (social media etc.) are mistreating users through engagement goals at the expense of mental health, monetization of data, and other forms of data mining. Expecting individual users to be experts on the practices and outcomes for every online service is unrealistic. Research needs an IRB (institutional review board) approval, why can’t we do the same for internet services?
The whole arrangement seemed so straightforward. We bloggers simply shared what we thought was interesting or helpful, and whoever agreed would congregate around, and we’d have a good talk about it, or maybe just think about it at work that day. The blog was just a microphone, and the internet only an aid to sharing our thoughts, like we had always done, in cars, in pubs, in school.
This is one of my favorite parts of being on an IndieWeb: that posts don’t have to be life-changing to be worth posting. It makes me a bit sad when people decry the rise of selfies food photos, because those posts are just small bids for discussion. A tiny bit of a life shared.