WE are the Product

I don’t know about you, but ever since the pandemic, I have found myself spending a lot more time…on social media.

Take one look at your “screen time” feature on your phone, and I’m sure – like me – you’ll be baffled and rightfully disgusted by the amount of time spent looking at a 2 inch x 5 inch pocket computer.

Instagram, email, FaceTime, Facebook, Tic Tok…

I mean, sure, these social media platforms are great for keeping in touch with my family and friends across the country and world that I miss so much. And frankly, without this lifesaving technology during quarantine, I simply don’t know how I would have survived.

But that lifeline to the outside world I desperately depended on for the 4 or five months in true lockdown, has now become too much of my life. And thankfully, I’ve been able to “check that,” and I’m really working to limit my phone usage, but I can really see how as a society, we have become absolutely addicted to our smart devices, particularly after this pandemic.

This addictive side of social media…it preys on our need for approval and validation, and in the mean time, it warps our sense of self, and skews our perception of interpersonal interaction and how we view the world.

I watched a really fascinating documentary over the weekend called The Social Dilemma. And it was about exactly that.

Featuring interviews with the people who created, developed and founded Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat etc., The Social Dilemma pulls back the curtain on how our addiction to these social media platforms isn’t by accident: the apps are purposefully designed that way.

For example…have you ever wondered why the notification you get when you’re tagged in a photo on Facebook or Instagram doesn’t include the actual photo?

It’s because they know how to get you to spend time on their app.

The long and the short of it: they want us to spend as much time as we possibly can on their social media platform.

They are in the game of manipulation. The ads you see, the notifications you receive, the post or video suggestions you get — they’ve taken the myriad of data they’ve collected on every “like,” page visit, how many seconds you spend watching a particular video or post — they’re taking all that information, and trying to keep your eyeballs on their platform.

Why?

Because we are the product “they are selling.”

Not to us…to advertisers.

Social media is this seemingly too good to be true treasure trove of “free content.” I mean, have you ever wondered – how is this free? I know I have. Or how Facebook actually makes money?

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “If you’re not paying for it, you’re the product.”

Yep – that’s the scary long and short of it.

We. are. the. product.

All the data they’ve collected. All the cognitively manipulative ways they’ve discovered how to influence our actions, our buying patterns, our thought processes. Social media platforms can literally serve you and me on a silver platter to ad companies who are looking for customers just like us.

Think that’s scary?

Well you’re absolutely right. It is.

But not for just those data security reasons. But ethical ones too.

This whole manipulative aspect of social media, frankly terrifies me.

The news media, has historically been known as the gatekeeper of news and information. They decide what we think about, and more importantly – depending on how they present it – they decide how we think about it.

So… with social media now being a main source of news for people… what happens when that gatekeeper of information is literally in the business of manipulation?

And the scariest part of all this? It’s happening right under our noses, and we’re completely oblivious to it.

My most recent article from Thursday, called A Tale of Two Political Nuns, was censored by Facebook. It was a pro-life article, and I received an email on Thursday around midnight, that it was rejected for violating “community standards.”

Being pro-life — is violating community standards.

And this is not the first time.

I have had FOUR — count them FOUR — other overtly pro-life articles be censored from Facebook as well.

CENSORED by Facebook!

The first time I thought it was a fluke, but as soon as I saw the pattern, I knew that I was experiencing first-hand their narrative manipulation at play.

They are the gatekeepers of what you, me and the entire world consumes, and my pro-life, Christian message is not welcome in their time-sucking “utopia.”

I got that message loud and clear.

So it begs the question…how can we trust them?

How can we trust that these companies that are literally dictating what we consume for — on average 6+ hours a DAY?

Are we really willing to surrender our attention, world view, and definition of morality to companies that are okay with promoting movies like, “Cuties” – which is about 12 year old girls twerking, and is borderline child pornography — and yet censors pro-life Christian blog articles?

We’ve got to ask ourselves, what is their agenda here?

Seriously. I’m not trying to be alarmist or anything. Really – what agenda are they pushing here?

And more importantly, do I want to be a participant?

We’re seeing it play out right before our eyes. The freight train is barreling down the tracks. Full steam ahead.

So. Sadly, there’s not a neat little button to wrap up this post with. But simply the awareness that it’s happening is a good place to start.

Whether you want to join the thousands that have canceled their Netflix memberships to protest the Cuties movie, or even just try to spend less time scrolling — my challenge to you is this. Have a critical eye when consuming the content you’re served on these “free” platforms.

Because we are the product.

But only if we choose to participate.

This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

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159 thoughts on “WE are the Product

  1. Thanks for sharing! I am still going to email you about my experiences with my old university chaplain. 😉

    As for social media, what you may not realize is how much gameification goes on. They are hooked into the part of the brain dealing with rewards and pleasure. Get a like on a post, feel good.

    1. Thank you friend! I’m so glad this hit home. You’re right – it’s a game. Looking forward to that email! Hugs and love xox

  2. I was reprimanded by Wikipedia for correcting an entry which stated our gender is ‘assigned’ at birth by the doctor who delivers us. How can the same people who believe in the ‘science’ of climate change NOT believe in the science of genetic predetermination? Well, I think I already answered my own question there.

    1. There is actually someone on a school board in my area (I don’t know if she is still there, there’s been an election since I read about it in the papers) who used that same expression, that gender is “assigned at birth”.

  3. Caralyn not much to add. You keep fighting the fight. You are like an early warning to all. I can hear some frustration in your words but then if there wasn’t any pushback you would be on the wrong path as Satan wouldn’t have his allies working to silence you. Keep up your important work. God sees!

    1. Thank you John, I appreciate your encouragement. Yes – I do have faith that God’s goodness will prevail. He is a good Father – we can bank on that!! Hugs and love xox

  4. Amen, well said! I just wrote a post tonight about that evil Netflix movie for pedophiles, Governor Newsom signing SB 145, the LGBTQ+P agenda, and what God has to say about sexual immorality. You are right about social media. Total mind control. The technology singularity is freaky! God bless!

    1. Thanks Ryan! So glad you thoughts so. Oh wow sounds like a powerful article. I can’t wait to read it!! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much! Oh my gosh I am humbled by such generous words. I seriously can’t believe the censorship! Just awful. Hugs and love xox

  5. None of this is really new. We have always been the product.I think much of the blame lies with education systems worldwide, which seemed to stop teaching young people to be discerning, decades ago. I was taught about much of this type of manipulation, both by school and by my parents. Growing up in war-torn Europe and having been subject to a barrage of quite frankly hilarious propaganda, they knew all about it. I watch the ads which show up with a mixture of both annoyance and amusement. I talk about the ads with which I am being targetted with my youngsters. Seemingly they can tell a lot about you and even predict pregnancies. On the positive side, they can also detect physical ailments too apparently. The answer is in our own hands. It all about how we choose to respond to this type of manipulation.

    1. That is so true — the lesson of being discerning! That is such an important skill! Wow – thank you for sharing your story. How incredibly powerful. Wow. Amen to that. Glad you stopped by. Have a beautiful night. Hugs and love xox

    1. Oh that’s amazing!!! Good for you 🙂 thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your victory! Hugs and love xox

  6. Regarding “Cuties”, the statement from Netflix says the intent of the film is to expose child sexual exploitation. You haven’t said whether you’ve seen the film, and I’ve always been one to reserve judgment on something until I’ve seen or read it for myself. As for the social media “habit”, you and I both use so-med to get out the message of Christ, and thanks to Facebook and Zoom, I’ve been able to connect with Christians all over the world and co-lead an online Gathering, which brings much-needed Word and fellowship to people who have sorely missed it due to COVID. So-med is only a “thing”, and so long as we love people and use things — and not the other way around — we’ll accomplish God’s purpose for us all.

    1. Thank you Drew for sharing your thoughts on this. In transparency i haven’t seen the film but a blogger I trust has. And I made my comments based on his critique of the film. Great thoughts!! Hugs and love xox

      1. There are people suggesting that a charge be introduced on some of these platforms. I think it’s too late, these companies are to used to knowing all about us now. I am a family historian. It is amazing how much you can discover about people, even one hundred years or more later. We leave digital footprints, even if we never participate in social media. I often ponder the fact that some of our ancestors would have been shocked, if they had known that photo, which they likely stashed in a drawer or an album, would one day be seen all over the world.

      2. Oh wow – what a fascinating job as a family historian. And what an interesting concept: digital footprints. Wow wow wow

  7. Great post. I won’t comment too much on the religious and political stuff. This is kind of a human problem affecting people of all persuasions, in red and blue states.

    I see it as basically unchecked greed. Some of the big tech companies are more powerful now than some small foreign countries, based on profits vs. GDP.

    It really is a scary thing. Just praying that we see some light at the end of this very dark tunnel soon.

    1. Thank you so much Nick! So glad this hit home with you! Unchecked greed – wow what a powerful thought!! You’re right about that. Praying with you! Hugs and love xox

  8. I have screenshot evidence that Facebook won’t let me block certain hard-left pages from my news feed when my friends share posts from them. I don’t dare put this on Facebook because then they’ll probably go after me.

  9. My screen time has increased way too much, Caralyn. Rather than write a long comment, can I suggest kicking FB to the curb? Gladly, I’ve never used it and have read articles that say that was a wise decision. Stay safe, be well! ❤️

    1. That’s a great plan John! Thanks so much for stopping by! Have an awesome night! Hugs and love xox

      1. We have to earn a living. For myself I like to think posting is 100% ministry and 0% vanity. It is probably not quite that good. I like being liked, don’t we all. -Jeff

      2. that’s a very honest and true statement Jeff! I am right there with ya! have an awesome week my friend! Hugs and love xox

  10. I’m sorry to hear about the Facebook censorship; whether you are pro-life or pro-abortion you should be allowed to share your views. But the Cuties thing is completely out of control – I would not have a problem if that were censored…

  11. Cuties is an abomination IMHO, I dont know what else to say about that. Social media is curious really, I do believe its generational. As a gen xer we are caught in the middle of still going to the library to get a good book and looking at instagram on our I phones. Its easier for me to shut it off, a lot of my established relationships were begun long before 2000. Our social media then was ICQ and AOL, lol.

    Another great post from you, it was a good read. I would say in closing that one of the final steps into adulthood, in the U.S. anyway is when you realize you are the “target market” and you empower yourself with the knowledge that your consumption choices are a very potent tool.

    1. I fully agree Karac. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on that. Hooray for books!! Haha glad you enjoyed it! Hugs and love xox

  12. If you read, a book you might also find intersting, by Shohshana Zuboff:(Harvard Professor, author, …) The Age of Surveillance Captialism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontie of Power. The world, she made a case for is turning to behavior modified society led by data accumulated online in all its formats. Here comes community as “truth” while the few will look for sanctuary (escape.)

  13. This is how I keep off social media – I read books. They can’t control me there. I read my Bible and take on challenging theology tomes that deepen my understanding of God’s Word. It’s invigorating. I do check out my FB feed a few times a day but I also spend time writing/researching my Christian blog and composing music so this particular “product” (me) doesn’t really don’t need or want what they’re selling. I hope more folks realize what you’ve realized. Keep those positive vibes coming, kid!

    1. Oh reading is so great. Thanks Rollie for saying that. You’re right. No manipulation there!! Oh wow I’d love to hear your music!! Hugs and love xox

  14. Yes indeed, the country has lost its “moral compass”, which I often refer to as one of our delimas. It is each of our personal responsabilities to guide our own way and hopefully as good christians walk with others and guide and inspire others to follow suit. And once again, I am proud of you for your recognizing a problem, bringing it to light with your voice and inviting others to join or atleast follow. Keep up the great work and I enjoy your posts and passion.

    1. Thanks friend for saying that. You’re right. It’s our personal responsibility! Thanks for the encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  15. Absolutely! Right on the button. Keep away. I gave up all of it except this blog and have not regretted one moment. I text and email loved ones and those who love you will do that. An addict says it has to be this way- the only way for me, right? I saw right away I lost the nonsense friends and kept the ones worth keeping. Anywho, love you as always, beautiful friend. Hugs! XO😄❤

    1. Thank you Tonya!! That’s so awesome that you’ve let go of it. I’m so impressed. Sounds like something i should definitely try!! Love you friend! Have a great night! Hugs and love xox

  16. Your post came at a good time, Caralyn. Someone recommend The Social Dilemma to me yesterday (and I’m pretty sure my phone is spying on me!). I’m planning on watching the Social Dilemma tonight!

      1. I’ve been watching Jaron’s vids on YouTube for a while (I highly recommend watching them), so much of what they were talking about I was aware of already. They took clips from some his YouTube vids. Back in 2018/2019, I quit social media to take a hiatus and focus on school. Social media is extremely distracting – what’s scary is how so many people are addicted to their phones…and the internet. I’m glad I got out when I did, but I question how it’s affecting society as a whole. Whenever I leave the house, I see ppl glued to their phones. There could be a group of ppl and everyone would be ignoring one another. We really have forgotten how to interact and communicate with real life human beings!

        My husband and I tried google search on our phones and it gave us different results. Some of the results were funny. I didn’t know that google specifically chooses what to show us in the search engine.

      2. Oh wow that’s so interesting about the google search!! Isn’t it wild. We really have become mentally absent while physically present because of our phones. It’s really doing bad things for relationships!

  17. I canceled my Netflix because of Cutiies and let them know why. Netflix lost 9 Billion dollars of stock values since the #cancelnetflix started and I am glad. I hope they lose a lot more.

    It is sickening that defending life is against Facebook’s “community standards”. Facebook embraces a leftist ideaology.

    1. Way to go! That’s such a powerful step. Applauding you. And wow look at those results!! I agree. Hugs and love xox

  18. I’ve heard that saying too; if it’s free, you’re the product. I still have a Facebook account but rarely access it. I realized I was spending too much time comparing myself to others. Not at all healthy! I can’t recall if this is a Bible verse, but it works anyway. It’s a warning against measuring yourself against others – there will always be those greater and lesser than yourself.

    Now that we are so dependent on cell phones, I don’t see us not participating. But we can at least minimize social app use. Want to stay in touch with someone? Do it directly like with a phone call or a handwritten letter. Or even a postcard. Social media has put us in silos instead of truly connecting with each other. It’s like we think we’re communicating with each other by tapping on our walls instead of leaving those silos to truly see and experience each other.

    FYI, Hillary started her phlebotomy internship today and had a great first day. We are ecstatic and so very proud of her!!!

    1. Oh the comparison game. Jeff I know it well. Sometimes on Instagram I’ll catch myself feeling less than and I’ll instantly just shut it off and say that’s it for now. Done! It’s so easy to compare ourselves to someone else’s highlight reel. I agree – minimization is the most realistic option. And how awesome are handwritten notes anyway!??? Oh my gosh that’s so terrific! Please pass along my congratulations! I’ll be praying for her! So exciting. Thanks Jeff for stopping by and blessing me with your wisdom! 🙂 have an awesome week! (Sounds like it already is!) hugs to you and your girls! Xox

      1. Good for you to be able to catch yourself circling the drain on Instagram and putting it down. Make a list of your accomplishments and keep it handy; child of God, top blogger, author, helper to thousands of ED-afflicted girls, actor… just to remind yourself that you have your own brand(s) of success while other have theirs. And they are welcome to theirs as you are to yours! You have a kind heart and a gift to help others. Everything else is window dressing anyway! Have an awesome (noncompetitive) week yourself! Hugs and love!

      2. oh gosh, thank you Jeff for making me smile this morning 🙂 you da bomb.com! 🙂

  19. My take on social media and its ilk is that we are both the payer and the product. You really can’t avoid that unless you completely go off the internet. Every site we visit is observed regardless of their claim to be protecting the privacy of users. Read the fine, fine print. Using gives permission for them to track usage.

    1. The payer and the product – wow what a thought. Thanks Ian for this powerful food for thought! Hugs and love xox

  20. Being Pro-Life, myself, I’ve had a couple of anti-abortion posts removed by Herr Zuckerberg, who seems to himself be an atheist, and, yes, a lot of criticism of Netflix, for having pushed the odiously marketed “Cuties”, has also been targeted by his censors. There is just a sense of down being up and dark being light, that grates on my soul. That, and the often incessant Pings of Messenger, being among the first things I hear in the morning, are the downsides of Social Media. I have to remind myself that there are those aspects of the system that work well, and life seems more manageable.

    1. Thanks for sharing that. Yeah you’re not kidding – down is up for sure. And oh yes – literally every single one of the developer interviewees, when asked their one piece of advice to break the addiction: the ALL said without hesitation: TURN OFF ALL NOTIFICATIONS ! So there ya go!! Hugs and love xox

  21. “All the data they’ve collected. All the cognitively manipulative ways they’ve discovered how to influence our actions, our buying patterns, our thought processes. Social media platforms can literally serve you and me on a silver platter to ad companies who are looking for customers just like us.”

    Perhaps you’re not aware of this: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/02/16/how-target-figured-out-a-teen-girl-was-pregnant-before-her-father-did/#6401b4c46668 It’s an old story, so imagine how much better they are at invading your privacy now.

    I had already quit Facebook when I read that story, but I furthered my personal crusade to keep tech at arms length from that point forward. My preferred method of communication at this point is smoke signals.

    “So it begs the question…how can we trust them?”

    You can’t. The only thing you can count on from these companies (and governments) is they will continue to invade your privacy.

    1. Thanks so much Matt for sharing your thoughts on this. Oh wow – I’ll definitely have to check out that article. And sadly you’re right – we can’t trust them. Oh what a world. Hugs and love xox

    2. Hey Matt & Caralyn 🙂

      One “heads up”: You yourself are actually “in charge” of your software (for example; the browser). Althhough it’s not easy, it is definitely a valuable learning experience to use the Firefox “UBlock Origin” plugin to prevent your browser from disclosing personal information about you to these spying / spyware companies / media organizations. IDK if that plugin is available for other browsers — I kind of doubt it, because the other browsers commonly available are created by those media-corporations who are so hell-bent on doing industrial espionage.

      ( Just a little FYI 😉 )

      1. oh that’s so interesting! thank you so much for sharing that! i’ll definitely have to check it out!!!! Hugs and love xox

      2. did you also see my other comment? I checked out to see if “Social Dilemma” is on YT (LOL, that would be one way to oppose NF making money on / off of content — I don’t watch on YT, I simply DL videos 😉 ) … nope, but found a fascinating talk by Tristan Harris (GOOG, specialist in “persuasion” [from Stanford, I think following work of BJ Fogg] ) … whatever (upsetting, but actually I think the end result will be much closer to my approach 😉 )

  22. Carolyn thank you for your thought-provoking post. Your blog works so well because you are always respectful. You have probably taught me more about blogging than anybody else. You have created a safe place for so many people from diverse backgrounds to come together.

    1. Oh my gosh, thank you so much – i am seriously so touched by that! i think that the internet provides a really unique opportunity to build bridges and foster mutual respect and understanding! 🙂 really appreciate you saying htat 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  23. Ooh ooh ooh! I may not have been able to add much useful to your recent post on the two nuns, but social media addiction *is* an area where I can meaningfully contribute! I can say much more than fits into a comment though, so I’ll dedicate a blog post to this subject. Thank you for the inspiration! Take care, BBB x

  24. “If you’re not paying for it, you’re the product.” Great quote. To go away back to another famous line in a famous song, If you wanna make the world a better place, look at yourself and make a change. Don’t use their platform, you have a choice.

    I can only talk for myself but I came over facebook 3 years ago, and don’t even miss it. All my REAL friends are in my contact list on my phone, I have there numbers. Instagram is such a better platform, at the moment, anyways. A lot more creative, Facebook is just gossip and fake new, my advice to anyone is set up a new page and only add your real friends if you like to use the platform to stay in contact with people around the world, but get away from the 1000-3000 fake friends that are polluting your mind with garbage.

    1. what another powerful quote! and so true! i am inspired by your exodus from facebook. way to go!!! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

      1. You have more influence than you know, please use it. Have a 7 day 14 day detox from facebook and see if there is benefits. Your not telling people like a lot of people do, don’t do this, you must do that. You are giving your experience, what you have got out of it.

        Now there is a couple of documentaries on Netflix telling people what they are doing with apps but people are already hooked, they aren’t hiding what they are doing they are very open about it. Which in my opinion is even worse.

        Great thought provoking post. Have a great weekend. 🙂

      2. That’s a great idea to detox from social media! I’m up for the challenge!! Hugs and love xox

  25. There are so many things I could say about the good, bad and ugly sides of social media, but I’m more impressed by your brave heart. God is using you, and the devil and his buddies don’t like it. Keep up the good work, Caralyn, and rest assured that the Word of God—and His purpose for you—will never be silenced. Blessings.

    1. oh my gosh, thank you David. You are too kind. Thanks for making me smile this morning! Hugs and love xox

  26. Oh.my.goodness! I cannot believe (well, I can which is super sad) that you are being censored for being pro-life! Yet, other media messages reign supreme! I’m wondering if this is a violation of our right to free speech? I know one thing, as Christians we’d better start opening our mouths to protest or we are going to lose the ability to do so. Thank you again for your courage. You are a light in a very dark world. I’m also going to try to contact you about reposting a part of your blog on mine. Thank you!

    1. isn’t it so wild and sad?!? You’re right about that – we’ve got to exercise our right to free speech for sure. thank you for such kind words! Hugs and love xox

  27. *snap* I watched the same program at the same time you did, I suspect. I’d already looked at “The Great Hack” which essentially warns about the effects of social engineering of our ‘opinions’. We are on the verge of becoming the human extensions of Artificial Intelligence.

    1. oh yes – both films were incredibly eye opening!!!!!! glad you thought so too! thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  28. You are so right about social media. I asked my students to go three hours without electronics, including phones, email, Facebook. One said it was like social suicide, and others were anxious that they missed something important. I think that there is a hunger in the world that people cannot name, so they fill their days with inofrmation, a lot of which is intentional misinformation. I have made myself stop checking social media first thing each day, as it depresses me the rest of the day. I think that God can satisfy the hunger, but His people are not presenting Him in ways that allow people to know that He is the Answer, the Way, and the Life they need.

    1. oh my gosh!!!! now that is telling! yeah i can’t imagine having smart devices since birth. it was hard enough getting a cell phone in middle school! amen – God can and will satistfy that hunger! Hugs and love xox

  29. I can’t handle the political posts and covid arguments and realized my life is too short to be stressed by social media. I’ve gotten to where I deactivate my account during the week and only log in on weekends if I log in at all. Quarantine has really been a tool to teach me what really matters and it’s the life God has given me and not ‘friends’ on Facebook… because the people I talk to the most and care about have my number and I talk to them personally. Maybe a year ago one of my blogs got blocked too for “content” purposes because it talked about my faith and christianity. That’s when I truly knew how they worked with their censorship and I just had the one article blocked. I do post them on the weekends when I write, but I can definitely live without social media, but they DO know how to get you trapped. Especially during this time because we long for fellowship with other humans and we are trapped “isolated”. But, I’ve really learned to love life without it and I am thankful we grew up without having it so we know each side of life.

    I love your posts… keep running the race. <3

    I love wordpress because you get to find likeminded people and read blogs with similar thoughts and lifestyles.

    1. You’re right about that! Life is too short for social media toxicity!!! Thank you for your encouraging words. I’m sorry you can so personally relate to the censoring!! Hugs and love xox

  30. I believe (though, I don’t know if there is empirical showing it as “fact”) that most of the social media platforms are ran by people with specific political agendas. I have self-censored on so many things and I do it because my primary purpose for being online is for some “social” interaction. Granted, it would be nice to feel like expressing my own belief system would be welcome. Unfortunately, people who feel justified in their causes, sometimes feel justified in stifling the opinions of others – for many people, I believe they worry don’t care if their means are horrible as long as the end result is what they feel righteous about.

    I remember once, even here on WP, I expressed some views I have that are mostly conservative leaning (obviously, not all of them are since I have an alternative sexuality – which, by the way, you have never judged and have always welcomed me here) and I had found that some of my beliefs were very offensive to some people. Some even stopped following me and implied I hate myself because of some of my beliefs…

    It’s weird the lack of intellectual diversity the world seems to want, but the reality is that we have to encourage it and we have to encourage people to listen. They may even come to realize that there are valid and important reasons behind people’s beliefs and opinions.

    And I’m pro-life, as well. Of course, being raised catholic might have a wee bit to do with that. 😉

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this. Amen – I feel like having healthy and respectful dialogue leads to understanding, bridge building and mutual respect! Have a beautiful evening! Hugs and love xox

    1. Hi Amanda, thanks for sharing that. I’m glad to hear the time has decreased, but I’m so sorry to hear the cause!! Hang in there friend! Praying for you!! Hugs and love xox

  31. Sounds like we’re in the Matrix movie! We’re feeding the machine. Facebook and Google and Apple are also actively trying to influence the political election right now. Like you and other commenters have said, it’s a useful tool in staying in contact with family or getting the message of Christ out, but we must be aware that the price we pay is that we’re being indoctrinated and manipulated for their economic and political ends. We need to be aware of this and do our own independent research on what we see, and think for ourselves. We need to be Spirit-led more than Twitter-led. 🙂

  32. Good work. Interesting conversations to be had around communicating in a social media world without contributing to the problem. I would love to secede, but the fight it here…

    1. Thanks J! I appreciate that. Youre right – it’s interesting for sure because it’s not going anywhere. Hugs and love xox

  33. Amen
    And oh my goodness, data ownership and privacy is so important to me also.

    For example, if I send a love note to my possible future wife 🏄🏼‍♂️, it is addressed to her and her alone.

    Yes, we need to call it out as wrong, and
    🔥

  34. Isn’t blogging a form of social media? Plus, your articles don’t exactly present both sides. Pretty clear to me why they were censored. They seem to divide people when we need to come together.

  35. Woah! This is thought provoking and very true. I agree with you on this one. We all need a little bit of lesser time spent with our faces glued to screens. May God help us all. Thank you for posting this Caralyn

    1. Thank you Temiloluwa! You’re right about that! Less screen time for sure!! Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  36. And this is why I don’t have any social media apps on my phone. The only time I get to interact with friends and family on social media is when I get on my laptop, and time is limited to catch up on people’s events. I don’t read anything political or comment or engage in anything related on social media. I get my news by reading independent news outlets and my convos on anything profound are to be had in private, and whenever possible in person, with people who may or may not agree with me but looking at each other makes the conversation relevant and significant to our relationship. Social media kills relationships if we try to actually have relationships on it. Too much room for misinterpretation because you can’t “hear” or “see” what people are “saying” to you. There is no intonation or emotion to be perceived in what someone comments on social media, even with emojis attached. I believe the pandemic has contributed to make a social deficiency sickness chronic. Isolating and separating people from each other, something is up with that. Stay close to your people by actually using voice calls and video calls intentionally. That’s how you beat the underlying purposes of the pandemic. Don’t type everything you want to say. I have to say to my autistic son all the time, use your words. We need to remind ourselves, use your vocal chords. Be blessed and thank you for sharing your heart.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this. That’s such a smart move to not have the apps on your phone. That is such a great idea. Amen to that!! This pandemic has been detrimental in so many ways. Hugs and love xox

  37. Such a good one! I’ve actually made it a habit over recent years to take routine breaks from social media. I always disable Facebook and uninstall Instagram (my only two apart from YouTube) between Christmas and New Year’s, and I’m getting ready to do it again here in a bit, before Christmas. The 40 days before I got married, I did the same thing, and actually have yet to re-able Facebook on my phone. If I want to get in, I log in via the browser and I always log out. I do the same thing with Instagram (signing in and out each time), though I do have the app. (As I’m writing this, I’m questioning why, since I don’t upload there frequently.) I also make a point of regularly checking my notification settings, and make sure I am not getting notifications for things I don’t want to (i.e. social media). The other thing that’s begun to concern me is biometrics usage in social media (check out the Ted Talk “The Business of Biometrics” for a ton of info about this). There is def, 100% an agenda, and I take every effort to monitor my usage and what I’m viewing. Heck, even like 30 seconds on my socials and then I’m over it. Besides, “careful little eyes what you see”.

    1. Thank you so much! I will definitely check out that ted talk! I appreciate the recco – sounds fascinating!! Hugs and love xox

  38. Great insight. I saw the advertisement for the Netflicks series about social media coming out. Sadly, all the platforms are using the same or similar methods to boost viewership and to make money from advertisers. As for politics, we see it at work from a variety of angles. Sadly, sex trafficking is a major issue, which highlights the number of people that are pedophiles. We have seen that in recent days even with powerful political figures. This tv show fits into what some fear is an agenda that the world is being prepped for. Time will tell.

  39. I saw that doc too, “The Social Dilemma”. The premise they present is only in a long line of capitalism “divide and conquer strategy” to make us into hyper-consumers.

    I can remember a time in the late 60s and early 70s when we used to be called citizens. The word citizen and our “former” responsibilities as citizens used to be participating in a democracy that has long since vanished. I think we were cemented into the consumer rubric around 1984 or 85 when planned obsolescence was first introduced. Individual humans have become commodities or consumeristic buying tools for the kind of capitalism that has already destroyed democracy for an oligarchy of Corporate owned government representatives who in-turn feign democracy. Besides the dangers of selling us off to advertisers as was so aptly illustrated in the documentary, the short-sighted greed and ravaging of the planet for the predatory capitalistic engine – the shortsightedness of short term profits has infected us all.

    Even those who are not climate change deniers seem to believe that they will not need to sacrifice the power consuming consumeristic lifestyle and will rely on the god of Tech to save us from climate change. So sorry, that will not be the case.

    When the pandemic first hit and people were in lock-down, the freeways in LA were free of traffic and the air cleared up, some people were surprised that this had no effect on rising temps in the world’s oceans. How arrogant and naive. We have all been trained to expect immediate results from minimal efforts. The efforts were from consumers in partnership with big corporations complying with the lock-down over a month or so.

    Many look to the Tech God for a savior. Of course this is ludicrous, but there it is – short term vision, self-centered / narcissism of nearly every American with no eye to long term future events.

    The only course of action by humans is harm reduction with regards to the Climate Crisis and I am doubtful that even that will happen. About a million or two humans worldwide will survive the Crisis and the rest of us will suffer and die horrible deaths unless there is an immediate transformative revolution in the next ten years and I don’t mean just the Green New Deal.

    1. Thank you so much Kai for sharing your thoughts on this! What powerful food for thought. We definitely need to work together to come up with creative and effective solutions! Hugs and love xox

  40. Yeah.. social media has basically taken over much of our lives in the past couple of decades.
    I’ve heard even in the professional arena, if you are not on LinkedIn, sometimes you are basically ignored as a serious candidate for a job. I’ve even heard that candidates were judged based on what they shared on their own social media. That’s not cool in my book. If someone wants their work and their private life to be separate, it seems that is almost an impossibility these days. You are your own social media account and Yes, you are the product that social media companies are selling these days.
    I watched a video where one reviewer actually tested how many times your own mobile device sends out data and information; even if you switch all those features off. Well… I’ll never be using an Android device. It turns out that the Device contacts Google every single second even if you are not using data.
    Apple is no different with their iPhones, but at least you know that your data is with them and not being sold to other parties. Basically they use your history is sell you only Apple products and services. That is about it.
    But yeah.. you are being tracked. Every time you shop online or browse the internet. And as social media and the mainstream media seek to distort our way of thinking, its almost impossible to ignore the fact that it has taken over humanity.
    I was listening to an ad on the radio whilst driving and it said, “let your child join our schools that encourage your kids to think openly, out of the box; so that they are able to become the leaders of tomorrow.”
    My pessimistic brain was immediately thinking, “Yes, you encourage them to be free thinkers so that they can get into college; where they will be brainwashed and pressured to stop and think more like their teachers and peers.”

    If you are to live a normal happy existence on this planet, you need to go somewhere away from social media and its influence… a remote pacific island, etc – completely off the grid.
    Maybe that is why “Overlanding” is seemly an appealing option to me lately.

    1. Thank you friend for sharing your thoughts on this. Yeah linked in is seriously business. And surprisingly it is also known as the new dating app. Curious. Overlanding how interesting! Hugs and love xox

  41. Funny how some people who want free speech for their own purposes (greed, exploitation, “expression,” etc.) are only too eager to shut down someone else–someone with traditional views from our Christian heritage, views that stood the test of time for centuries. SO appreciate your voice in the blogosphere, Caralyn. You are wise beyond your years!

    1. thank you Nancy, I am right there with ya! it is so sad. THank you for your kind words of encouragement! Hugs and love xox

    2. Precisely. Really crazy how someone can put the label of facist to one person and protest “facism” by being facist themselves. Sometimes I just think someone should walk up to Antifa and say.. “So, you’re Anti-yourselves..? Don’t quite follow the logic there buddy.”

  42. We need this reminder, thanks for the post!

    I find it helps to decide, and articulate in my mind, exactly what I’m going to do on my device before I turn it on or open it. We all know there are good reasons for using them. It’s hard, but let’s keep ourselves accountable to using them the way we intend and not the way they intend.

    But I need to be reminded continually. Thanks for that!

  43. Hi Caralyn,
    another easy read would be the book #struggles – Following Jesus in a Selfie-Centred World by Craig Groeschel

    Ultimately we determine how much sway Social Media has over us and how much we want to utilise to get His message out there. Because regardless if we like it or not, accept it or want to unplug from it – an increasing number of people are living in this digital space and that is where they go to first.

    I posted about this a while back which may be of interest after reading an article by Carey Nieuwhof here https://wp.me/p1cXdn-LC

    Have a good one & God bless
    Perry

    1. Thanks Perry for the reccos! I will definitely check them out!! You’re right I think we’re going to have to learn to navigate it. Hugs and love xox

  44. I have another book recco; A Catholic Vote for Trump. So far it’s a good read. Makes a good point about how important it is to stop judging the presidents faith walk and focus on how committed he is in allowing people to walk out their faith uninhibited by the lib-left.

    1. Oh that’s awesome, thank you so much! That really makes a lot of sense! I’ll have to get a copy!! Hugs and love xox

    1. Hi Jack, no i am not – the ad i purchased to promote it was rejected. i can send you the email if you would like “proof.”

    1. oh my gosh thank you Lia! 🙂 I’m so glad this resonated with you! have an amazing day! Hugs and love xox

  45. A few days ago, I decided to stop using Facebook unless it was to post a link to my blog. Otherwise, my friends, who are all bums, would never bother to read it. Which is probably not much less than they aren’t reading it already. It’s a lot like an alcoholic whose only friends are at the bar. He wants to stop drinking, but they just tell him he will be back.

    My own daughter has been struggling with gender identity issues, and I believe that most of these started because of how the algorithms focus information, specifically on impressionable minds. But if you say that on Facebook, you’ll be censored.

    1. oh wow that’s such a smart move with Facebook! you’re right on the money. thank you Clinton, for sharing that about your daughter. I will certainly keep her and your family in my prayers as you navigate this season together. Hugs and love xox

    2. I refer to this stuff as “drater media” (reverse the letters of the first word to de-crypt it 😉 ). I wrote an article about this on *MY* blog many years ago (and also many years after people started complaining about my use of the term)… it’s called “Definition: How to define RM” (for correct spelling of RM, decipher according to above algorithm).

      1. Oh, I just realized that (maybe?) I wanted this to be a reply to Clinton’s comment above — which is indeed very insightful !!

        Many people see little similarity between Facebook + Google, but IMHO those two companies are in very similar lines of business, and their business models are also essentially the same. Both of these brands are considered to be very successful, but (again IMHO) these brands far more damage than they actually help anyone (for more on this, please try to decode [+ search for + hopefully even find] the title I mention above 😉 ).

        My approach to information (and IMO it’s a “natural” + very effective approach in order to match up supply + demand in the information marketplace) is to use natural language (in other words: English + similar globally used languages) as the fundamental technology (rather than relying on the complex algorithms such “brand name” companies use).

        For Clinton’s + Caralyn’s interests, words like “gender”, “food”, “health”, etc. seem much more significant important (to me) than brand names such as “Google” or “facebook”.

      2. Ojhhh gotcha! So sorry – on my dashboard, it doesn’t show the order of comments or if it’s a reply – they’re just stand alone. So sorry! Thank you for clarifying. Lots of powerful food for thought!

  46. Caralyn, You’re right on about the manipulation going on behind the scenes on these social media platforms. We need much HS discernment to escape it’s evil clutch. May the Spirit of God give us His guidance and wisdom. 🙏

    1. You’re on a reading roll! thank you so much! you’re absolutely right – we are in desperate need of His discernment! Hugs and love xox

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