Color me somewhat jaded about humanity’s considerations of itself, and a little paranoid about the motivations of people living in a capitalistic world, but if everyone is out to get you or your money, a little paranoia is a good attitude to have.
We live in a world where advertising rules yet many of us have become somewhat desensitized to the pervasive use of messages. Right? Maybe not. Advertising has become far more sophisticated than the days of roadside billboards. Today we’re being tracked to the point of stalking.
Google and Facebook are but the most prominent examples of how people respond with a willingness to exchange previously private information just to use free software.
While it’s easy enough to ban Google and Facebook and Amazon from your online life, it is not so easy to ban all trackers. Use a VPN, add Little Snitch to your Mac to block trackers, and you still get tracked.
I’m convinced that the only way to escape such online trackers is to go off the grid entirely.
Or, at least, no electricity that comes from the grid.
No credit cards or checks.
Cash may not rule in the future but if you don’t want to be tracked then you have to cover your tracks the old fashioned way. Don’t leave any that can be viewed by someone else; native American or clever capitalist.
How can you live off the grid in the 21st century and still have a comfortable life? Can you still own and use an iPhone, iPad, or Mac?
It depends upon how anonymous you want your online life to be, and how much you’re willing to alter modern habits simply to avoid being tracked by unscrupulous advertisers and those who would take information about you and sell it to others only to have that information used against you.
As much as I think a little paranoia goes a long way, I’m not willing to give up access to the rest of the world just to maintain a degree of privacy that goes beyond the norm, but it seems increasingly obvious that the only way to escape the online tracking mechanism that pervades modern society is to give the appearance that you have left society.
Shocking? No. Can you do it? Yes. But it requires a measure of diligence and effort that many not result in many benefits.
Yet, the only other choice is to remain fodder for trackers and advertisers who are willing to abuse the information they collect from each of us for their own benefit.