Maintaining privacy in 2022 is overwhelming. Both sides of the spectrum express opinions that are very strong. Our brain doesn’t like spending energy on reassessing the worldview, responding to changes with aggression.
Inexperienced privacy enthusiasts like to label people who just happen to like Instagram “corporate slaves” and “the reason why the world is fucked up”, provoking nothing but rightful anger in response. It works in both sides, with people who don’t want to use iPhone invited to move into a cave and not to forget a tinfoil hat.
Hateful words are being thrown back and forth. Meanwhile, corporations are taking our privacy away bit by bit while media spreads paranoia.
Here you are, in the middle of that chaos, taking a peek into the world of digital privacy. It seems overwhelming, as those privacy guides are too long and too radical. Should you throw your smartphone away and get a PinePhone? Quit using social media you enjoy? Switch to Linux, but not any kind of Linux, but a privacy-centered Linux that takes a professional software engineer just to install it correctly? Engage in an emotional uphill battle for privacy just to give up when an emotionally hard moment comes?
I’ll bet money on any sane person’s brain rejecting the idea of that digital overhaul right away. But bear with me — maybe you don’t need to!
Why do corporations even bother to collect user data? The legend goes that it’s needed to personalize ads. But really, why do they spend huge amounts of money carefully planning another privacy intrusion in order to not get too much backlash? Why do they employ teams, the sole purpose of which is to deal with bad public reception of another controversial measure? Is selling data to advertisers and personalizing ads worth it?
Of course not.
There is a specific reason why they do it. You’re ready?
They do it to manipulate your opinion without you even knowing you’re being manipulated.
Yes, that was harsh. But it’s true, and it’s not because you’re “stupid”. You’re not. You see, any person’s brain, even Einstein’s and Hawking’s, has backdoors called cognitive biases.
The rationalist community promotes the awareness and the methods of intercepting biased thoughts. But no one is rational 100% of the time. Anxiety, trauma, and even being away from your support system renders your brain vulnerable. It’s not your fault, and it never was.