A brilliant point brought up by my lecturer Ted Mitew made me realise how disturbing our society online truly is, and how these ‘walled gardens’ are able to grasp hold of our deepest darkest secrets better then any human being can. Spooky huh.
To be completely honest, I don’t consider term walled garden to be inclusive enough. Organisations or ‘feudal lords’ as we look at the walled garden in a feudalised context control more so a walled botanical garden with a large range of content opportunities and possibilities. The fact that the users also create these gardens and succumb to the beat of their drum is also absurd, as the user trades their job of using, to be used by the platform itself.
This notion was emphasised by the way McKenzie Wark made this point:
“We are not really its citizens but its peons.” ~McKenzie Wark
The fact that the users create the platform, create the networks, create the basis for which a walled garden is run is like shooting yourself in the foot, a bit counter intuitive. Why would you submit to something that uses you to do its work for you?
Because they know us so well.
These social media sites know what we like, how we like it, what time of day we want it, how we want it conveyed. Who our friends are, why they are, what we have in common and where we’re going clubbing next Saturday night.
It is the functioning way of life that we now live in that we are controlled by these networks and are used by them everyday to produce them with content, metadata, marketing strategies and information.
So when a quiz on Facebook asks what your favourite ice-cream is, be weary of the consequences to come.
Haha love the memes, and great post about this topic! it is pretty scary how we’re all more vulnerable online than we think, thanks to these walled gardens, and just how every little detail of our online presence whether facebook, twitter or whatever is pretty much “recorded” and used. Wonder if this knowledge would change the way people interact with the internet, OR simply become aware and carry on doing the same stuff. Real interesting stuff
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It is a valuable point you have made we really do need to be more weary of the consequences that come with revealing so much onto social media sites like FB and don’t even get me started on the things we don’t reveal but they can figure out anyway. This survey by Next adviser found that 61% of they users they surveyed didn’t even know 3rd party sites had access to their FB data (however it was conducted in 2013 so may be a different story now).
It is very interesting to think that we willingly do this to ourselves and that we even obsess over doing it. But that is how the site works it is masterfully designed to make us want to reveal more and more about ourselves by using our desire to document ourselves in the hopes controlling our own self image.
J Marichal once said “If you wanted to design a perfect machine to get you to reveal intimate details about yourself, it would look a great deal like Facebook…Every element of the site is designed to make us do what we are biologically wired to do: share”.
I really like the idea you put forward that we are being used by the platform even though, in a sense, we are the ones who run it. The last sentence is what really got me though. I am a big fan of quizzes that pop up in my news feed on Facebook. However, I would never have thought that they might be using my answers to retain a greater profile and collect even more data. I’ll definitely be wary of that next time.
This resonates with me just a little bit, because we’re always told ‘Facebook owns our stuff’ and that they use our info and data and whatnot, but I don’t think anyone actually thinks too much about it they just continue with their everyday lives. You hear about Facebook being able to use our photos for advertisements and similar things but I wonder if it’s actually happened to anyone? I’ve also never thought of the fact that those quizzes posted to our walls is actually the site collecting more data! Its things like this that make you think more, and make me use the site more for trolling and chats rather than actually giving people my daily life updates.
With the extent to which Facebook has grown, I think the term ‘walled rainforest’ is more accurate – (now imagine stacks of this) plentiful flora fruitful to generate an effective ecosystem, however I think i’d like to return to civilisation. The concept of the optimised newsfeed is a reoccurring thought of mind, its no surprise that Instagrams shift to an algorithmic news feed is merely meeting a marketing agenda. What are the consequences of our engagement with these platforms?
“So when a quiz on Facebook asks what your favourite ice-cream is, be weary of the consequences to come.” who knos what they could be? possibly then I truly WILL scream for icecream
Really good link between the idea that we create the platforms that we sometimes hate. We are all a product of what we create and metadata and the information we put out there on our on platforms can affect us in so many different ways, either now or 20 years in the future. We really are the first generation to grow up with these platforms and its crazy to think how its going to evolve.