Imagine a world where someone can simply find out who you are, what products you like and where you live with a simple click of a button. A world where businesses can track your habits and hobbies. A world where we know so much about you without knowing who you are. Wait... we do live in this kind of world thanks to social media.
Today, most businesses know who you are and what you like. According to Leah Betancourt's article "How Companies Are Using Your Social Media Data," Betancourt mentions that "data mining company turns your chatter and network into a behavioral pattern." What does that mean? It means that you are telling everyone around the world, not just your friends and followers but marketers and employers as well, that you enjoy drinking Starbucks every Wednesday after your Biology class. Now you're going to ask what's the big deal. Well, with this information, Starbucks can (and most likely will) begin targeting you with specific ads about deals you can get from the nearest Starbucks. Competitors can also begin pushing messages to you stating that their coffee shop down the road has better and more spectacular deals.
So this must be illegal, right? Well...
So, the way I see it, businesses have every right to use this data mining information. It is a great tool to develop a specific message that their target audience would care about. Honestly, I would love to have access to this kind of data mining information so I can better communicate with my audiences. It would greatly benefit the organizations and businesses I currently work with. Data mining exists, and we all need to accept it. If you don't, delete your social media accounts, but we all know you won't do that.
The moral of the story: Don't be stupid on social media.
Yes, social media is a place we can create conversations among one another. It is a place where our voices can be heard (or overlooked depending on the kind of stuff you post). Hell, it is even a place where you can connect with old friends, businesses and future lovers. Just don't be stupid.
We're all watching. Always watching.