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Social Media and The Seven Deadly Sins. Part 1: Confessions of a Social Media Sceptic

Welcome to a new series of blog posts where I delve into the murky world of social media, based on my book Social Media and The Seven Deadly Sins. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing summaries of each chapter, providing insights into how social media giants like Facebook, Twitter (now X), and Google exploit our deepest desires and vulnerabilities. This series aims to expose the dark side of social media and offer a chance for reflection and change. Join me as I navigate through the sins that fuel this digital age and discover how we can reclaim control over our online lives. Stay tuned for a journey of revelation and redemption.

 


Chapter 1

Forgive me, father, for I have sinned.


This isn't a theological discourse, despite drawing inspiration from the Seven Deadly Sins. As an atheist with two decades in digital advertising, I approach organised religion and social media giants alike with a hefty dose of scepticism. After years of working for global brands, my suspicions towards Facebook, Twitter, and Google have only deepened.


I stand at a moral crossroads, compelled to confess my part in the grand scheme of surveillance capitalism, data mining, and the exploitation of social media addiction. Despite considering myself a white-hat operator in terms of ethics and net neutrality, the boundaries of big data collection and privacy have become disturbingly blurred.

Reflecting on my career and the awards adorning my mantlepiece, I question whether peer recognition can truly satisfy my soul. Can the ego boost of industry accolades justify a career spent supporting consumerism by selling unnecessary products? Probably not. Admitting this poses a risk—who would hire a consultant who critiques the very medium he's mastered? Yet, the answer became clear: speak now or forever hold your tongue.


I can no longer believe that the good outweighs the bad in social media. These companies don't have our best interests at heart. Their primary goal is profit, derived from our data sold to the highest bidder. We consent through lengthy terms and conditions few bother to read. Even if you do, the clauses allow these terms to change without notice. Legally dubious, these contracts are unfair and unjust, yet we accept them without question.


In doing so, we allow high-tech corporations to trade our innermost secrets. Each of us is assigned a dollar value, with our content, thoughts, and creativity commodified. We've struck a deal with the devil, exchanging our privacy for the fleeting pleasure of social media engagement. This engine, fuelled by the Seven Deadly Sins, is likely more harmful to humanity than we realise.


Writing this book was a necessity—to document and critique the insidious nature of social media. I'm not aiming to change the world but to highlight our missteps, giving everyone a chance to change their bad habits and regain control. Having seen this from the inside, I'm guilty of using social media data to benefit corporations and brands. It's now time for my baptism, to be cleansed of these sins.


Forgive me, father, for I have sinned.


 

Want to dive deeper into the dark side of social media? Discover more in my book Social Media and The Seven Deadly Sins. Get your copy now and join the movement to reclaim your digital life.


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