Digital Slavery

Happiness is no more a mere state of mind. Happiness is a mode of self-expression now. Happiness comes with a switch now, it could be turned on and off from our smartphones. Now we do not need to rely on any internal feeling to make us feel happy. This is true at least for outside world which always sees the best version of yourself on various social media platforms.
It seems that we are bought up and groomed for a lifelong directionless running. This decade of internet penetration into our lives has also made us warriors of a digital rat race. This is the rat race of happiness! That is what we do on social media. There is a never-ending competition to display best of me for outside world. We live to impress others. In fact, as someone rightly said we live to impress those whom we hate most.

With the habit-forming loop of the technology at our bay; we do not realize how much of our valuable time is spent on these social media platforms. We scroll down timelines to see so many happenings all around the world and we are bombarded different types of good emotions with happiness being the prominent in its different versions.

We see people blabbering all good things happening in their lives. Simultaneously, we shout out our stories. It is a compulsion, After all your presence should be felt. Unless you are very powerful and influential; If you will not have regular updates on social media platforms people may forget you. Fear of missing out on what is happening in my circle and negligence from people might have been an important reason for being regular on these platforms.

Apart from being a platform for publicizing what is happening in one’s life; These Social media platforms offer us various feeds involving News, views, reviews, updates, opinions and everything else which you should know. These websites track your usage behavior so that their algorithm identifies what are the stuffs you like. Based on your behavioral preferences media feed of these platforms offer what is best suited for you.

Social media is supermarket of knowledge. Knowledge of every sort is shared on these platforms by the constituents. The constituents include people like us, products and companies who are on these platforms so that they can understand our opinion towards their products and services. Market intelligence and buyer behavior studies by these corporations have helped them being better. We will discuss this more in more detail in later part of this Blog.

Through these social media platforms; Why we want people to know that I am happy? At times, why we try to pretend abundance of happiness in our lives? Although you are not that happy; why you show you happy and content? Why there is a constant pressure to make outside world know that I am somebody and “My life is happening”? Why we want a celebrated life? 

Apparently, why we express anger on these platforms? When you are sad, why you tend to find a respite on feeds at your timeline? Why we gaze through our own posts and by others and do nothing else most of the time?

As you might have noticed, Why people go ‘anonymous’ to reveal their dark secrets on platforms like Quora? Why social media is the HUB of our emotions?

And how it became the epicenter of our emotions? In fact, mood of the society and nations can be tracked through social media. How this has happened?

Have you ever asked

“Why I want to be heard?”

Why different states of our mind establish a direct link with these websites and mobile applications?
Have you wondered How these platforms have become such a prominent mode of self-expression.


What is the answer to-

What I understand; It is all about money. Yes, you read it right. Money is the driving force of the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Whatsapp, and many more.
Indeed, social media is a trap for the rats (read people) like us. They have a trap available to tap every aspect of our psychological self. As we know, social media serves well as an epicenter of human emotions these days.

Those who run these social platforms claim their business is a content hosting and communication platform. They are here to serve us. They are here to change the world. They have been successful in doing so. Compare 2009 with 2019 and you will notice the difference. We were feature phone users back then; and smartphones were newly introduced. Their penetration to our usage behavior is tremendous. Smartphones come with a host of benefits. You are connected all time through different social media applications and you can manage most of your activities through your hand phone. Almost every kind of e-commerce activity can be performed through this device on your palm.
You may argue that these platforms have helped us to reconnect with forgotten school friends or it has made connections with strangers who had some common cause or interest. You can instantly communicate with anyone anywhere in the world with internet. An important piece of news which happens in any corner of the world; reaches millions and billions of people across the world. With the help of technology; important updates go viral and people get to know what they should know. Without such platforms we could not have been connected. Like right now we are now connected through this blog post. This is due to the technology we have at our disposal. We have immense benefits from these technologies. It helps us to take right decision at right time.

Your argument will conclude with the rationale behind managing cost of hosting and maintaining these websites, mobile applications, employing brilliant software programmers these websites have to feed us some targeted advertisements, paid and promoted updates.

But, in my view, if this would have been the only case - Myspace and Orkut wouldn’t have been sold and shut down. Google Plus would not have been a ghost island. This too will shut down very soon from 2nd April 2019. Google plus really had some very good features.

However, these obsolete platforms did not have the vision or answer for what is the profit-making opportunity underneath the reunion of forgotten childhood friends, jamming up of strangers over a common interest, your selfies being instantly seen by everyone in your circle, spreading of important news to every corner of the world; among other benefits.

This generation of social media platforms successfully count your time spent on their website or mobile application as the profit you have generated for them. They mint money whenever you sneak through these applications.

If you still not coincide with this fact; you might ponder that whenever you took a couple of minutes break to relax your mind by addressing those notifications on a hectic workday or you had a lazy day spent on these platforms; how come it made money for them. Since, I didn’t shell out a single penny from your pocket for using these applications. They are free.

Yes! you didn’t shell out a single penny from your pocket. But, you contributed revenue for them. In fact, it is hard to believe but you work for them like a slave.

You took social media as leisure, and you considered yourself off work. But, reality is that every single moment you used these applications you worked for them. Every single bit of data generated by you is the digital asset they own. This asset is commonly referred as “The Big Data”.

We work for them, and most of us get paid in kind not in cash. We trade off our time to get a dose of dopamine released by our hormones through the likes, comments, followers, statistics, comparisons, jealousy, depression and an addictive motivation to remain in that web loop.

In short, we trade our time for an addiction. To know more, you should search “Dopamine” over Google or any other search engine.


They already know too much about your life, like what kind of rat race(s) you are into, what are your achievements, what you aspire to be, who you talk to, when you sleep, where you have been, How you commute to work, where are you RIGHT now, what time you work for your living, How frequent you work for them i.e. you are active on these platforms and much more. This list of your information and metadata is endless. You may consider that they know much more about than you can remember yourself.

Actually, You are no more an individual; but you are a digital asset for them. Metadata about you is on a free float. It goes through a rigorous data mining. Sophisticated analytics and algorithms process your data.

But, is this data usage only confined to all those goods things which we are told?

Now, we are about to discuss something which is more horrible than targeted and forced advertising. The artificial intelligence and in-depth analytics by these platforms have figured out a portrait of yourself. Their algorithm decides on what should be in your timeline. We are consumers over there. We consume the content; whatever they want us to see. It is a complete flip of what we discussed earlier. Understanding your user behavior so that you see the type of contents you prefer is not the only use case of your data.

In this process of churning the data generated by you and offering you the user experience of theirs’ USP; they attempt to sow seed of aspirations into our brains.

They have secret promotions for diverse types of affiliations which you should build. You aspire to achieve them. You work hard to acquire them.

Eventually, you acquire your cherished desire, you show off about your possessions and talk about them on social media. Thereby, you contributed content for others to consume. We all possess such forced aspirations; which is not due to an internal voice. We aspire, because everyone else is talking about them.
In this ecosystem, every other user contributes marketing content of some sort for other users to consume.

This is a highly scale up able and targeted brainwashing.

Most of our materialistic possessions is out of sheer compulsion because of the peer pressure. Peer pressure has existed ever since we evolved. But, the magnitude of peer pressure seems compounding with technology.

These aspirations are not BURNING DESIRES. This is a wish list of never-ending materialistic possessions. You acquire one, you have the next one ready in queue.

In short, we work for their profit.

We fulfill their dream.

That expensive phone, that vacation, those super cars, bikes, exotic food at a high street restaurant, resort, designer labels, fashion accessories, home décor, tourist destinations, the aspiration list is endless.

Nothing is free. If you are not paying for the product; then you are the product. You are being sold. You are the revenue.

Get out of this TRAP!

Your aspiration is list is not a natural tendency of human desire, it is targeted marketing. With political parties harnessing the social media to their benefits, propaganda and biased consensus building; the future looks more appalling.

Remember, it is not a computer program; In Fact, you are being programmed.

These are not social media; these are marketing medium. You grew your connections; like that forgotten school friend on a marketing platform or your best internet buddy, or interaction with a random stranger on these platforms which are fueled by the marketing money. We all are contributing to make these companies bigger.

They have profiled each of us into categories of influence'rs and influence'es. We all are their marketing agents. Some of them paid in cash, most of us PAID through the fake addictive happiness we experience through some released dopamine somewhere in our body. 

The social marketing cycle goes like this

Targeted marketing à Build aspirations à Grow Wish-list
è You work
è You save
è You buy a luxury to upgrade your lifestyle
è They make profit
è You show off
è Others get influenced à the social marketing cycle rolls on

You are constantly being programmed through these marketing platforms to work harder, earn more than before, and then ‘blow up your increased earnings for the Wish-list you built IN THAT CONSTANT MARKETING RADIATION.

Let’s call “Enough is Enough” and find more productive ways to lead your life. This is your life; live it to inspire yourself not others.

Visit our YouTube channel to enlighten yourself with videos on this blog’s content. We are online to rescue you from this “Digital Slavery”.

Tell us your thoughts and wisdom in comments section.

This may sound contradictory; but sharing this blog with more and more people will help spreading the message that “we need to break out from this Digital Slavery”. And don’t forget to leave with a like!

Author : Rajeev Srivastava


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