Friday, February 26, 2021

Social Media and Privacy

This morning whilst having my cup of java, I listened to a very interesting talk about AI (Artificial Intelligence – a topic which I enjoy).

The chat circled on privacy and shifts in our every day lives, very soon all our profiles will be easily accessible, all our data, likes/dislikes, heart rate, health issues will be readily available. I am already one of those people, with my smart watch and my google home device, my “google guy” calls me “Saff”. 

I was fascinated with this speaker, but he had a time limit as with most Ted Talks. I was left wondering how personal privacy can be eroded and whether we are actually ready for this type of technology. I recall Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony not too long ago to congress on violating privacy; if you recall even Apple was called out for violating iPhone user’s privacy, it seems that no one actually values data privacy. You have to protect yourself. Don’t get me wrong, I am active on social media. I think Facebook is a great way to keep in contact with friends and family who are not close by, any platform needs to be used responsibly and with common sense.  

The other day whilst chatting with a dear friend telephonically, we had mentioned a certain item I was interested in purchasing.  We often joke when we don’t know something … we will ask “Dr Google, Mufti Google, Celeb Google or in this case Google the Shopper”. So I searched this item, after we ended our call, I opened my FB page, I was met with an avalanche of adverts for the very same item.  With over 200 mature social media tools in operation, it's hard to make generalizations about how this information was harvested from just one convo, or the way we behave when we use search engines. Nearly all of them rely on basic human nature or they just listen to all my convo’s. (Maybe I should state my disclaimer before I start any conversation via my mobile device).

I once read a post on Tim Lisko (he tries to keep the internet safe)

“He illuminated the driving force behind all concerns about privacy issues in social media. Historically, human conversations were private and made public only through concerted effort. In a social media environment, all conversations are public unless you explicitly make them private - and that's not always easy to accomplish. While on the surface this seems obvious, once you become comfortable operating in a social network you often forget about your own privacy. You revert back to the idea you're having normal human interactions which we're conditioned to know are private.”

Why are people more accepting of strangers on social media, why do they accept random invites with no mutual connections, why are people so trusting on social media? YET, the very same people are more reserved in face-to-face situations with people they know.

Here are my thoughts …. We perceive greater risk when communicating with people we know. It's much easier to confide in a stranger, especially if you're in the comfort and privacy of your own environment.  

Privacy is a very broad topic. We cannot minimize risk if we don’t know and recognize how the tools work.  Just remember it’s called “social media” for a reason, it is designed to encourage you to abandon privacy. It happens in real time, we connect with people, with strangers. Our networks are interrelated in ways it's hard to comprehend.

Social networks provide an escape for many people, a game-like atmosphere where you get to reconnect with friend, collect new ones, build your followers, the bigger your numbers they more desirable you feel. (Note to self: Time for an Instagram clean up).There is a plethora of articles and blog posts about the value of quality over quantity of connections in social media. Why? Because we're wired to think more is better and there's no such thing as too much.  I have about 125 FB friends, 95% of my contacts are people I know personally, the other 5% are via my contacts within reason. I do not accept any friend requests unless I know you in real life. (I don’t care how amazing your profile pic is)

Think about it, back in the day, it used to take days or weeks for a town gossip to inflict real damage. Now reputations can be ruined on a global scale within minutes. I personally keep my personal life out of social media, we ought to be careful with what we put out there. If we apply common sense, you will be able to differentiate what should be out there or not. Imagine if every thought or opinion went “viral”.

Thursday, February 18, 2021


 What if you dot your I’s and cross your T’s

What if you make sure you tick 9/10 on the “good girl” checklist?


What if good girls also like bad?

Got me wondering if I am alone or is this a concept for other women also in the closet; this will aggravate the hell out of me until I ask?

For someone who does every single thing right most of the time, this love/hate feelings towards Rio, has me second guessing myself.

If you haven’t yet binge watched Good Girls on Netflix, here’s a quick rundown.

It’s an addictive series about three friends (two of them sisters) who get so fed up with their “routine, normal, cookie cutter style" lives that they decide to rob a grocery store.

Yes all three face the financial gutter. So they decide to rob this convenience store.

The store also conveniently is part of a money laundering business, led by crime boss Rio. They chose the wrong store to rob.

This leads the women to be indebted to Rio or face the barrel of a gun. So the “Good Girls” start working for Rio in order to pay back what they owe him.

From the moment I started watching the show, I was intrigued by Rio (Manny Montana) for all the wrong reasons.

Firstly watching him and Beth do this “dangerous dance” every time they were together appealed to me. They are from totally different sides of the spectrum but mixed together with the adrenaline rush of what they were getting into;  just did it for me. I was LIVING through the entire series, these suburban women living on the edge of danger. I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of guilt while watching it.

In reality, a Beth should never get involved with a Rio, but if you’ve watched the show, you know Rio is on another level of fine.

Honestly, I just feel guilty every time Rio comes on the screen.  Rio isn’t exactly the best person on the planet. Even with his suave attitude and smooth talk, he is still toxic, aggressive, plays emotional mind games and manipulates Beth every chance he gets. He uses his aggression and macho attitude to show Beth that he’ll always have control.

He’s literally everything I’m against, yet, I was attracted to him from the start. He’s the type of guy you walk away from and protect your close females from.

Yet deep down inside, I am drawn to his character. I am the first to condemn toxic masculinity, but here I am contradicting myself when it comes to his character.

Most of the movies and series I watch, I am most drawn to the “bad guys” - Yes at the end of the day, it’s just entertainment so I am not going to beat myself about it.

Are you in the same boat as me, just remember, that every one of us is flawed. We all have our vices and guilty pleasures, we need to grow and learn to make ourselves better beings.

And as long as you’re doing what you need to do to grow, I guess you shouldn’t feel bad if you don’t check off every mark on the “perfect/good girl” checklist.


BTW : Just some information on the actor Manny Montana (Rio) is an immigrants’ rights activist, he is pro-women and husband to a beautiful woman who he adores, when he’s not playing Rio.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

I write for you too ....

I always thought poetry had to be classical, cerebral and complex; which only a deep thinking mystic could decode. 

It took me all these years to get to this point; to be brave enough to even share my poetry with you. I did share a few on an online platform only because no one knew me there. 

I had to give myself permission to feel comfortable to just let out my thoughts. This pandemic has me seeing things in a whole new light through self-awareness and my encounters with others. I hope that it excites you in a magical way and gives you permission to slow down, to contemplate and savor my words, my feelings, experiences, thoughts and emotions. 

These are words which danced and excited me as I cooked. Words which haunted me when I lay awake at 2am. Words that fell onto paper from stories shared with me. Words which express deep love during my moments of meditation. Words which connected me to people, places and moments. My solitude. Words which comforts my internal place. Words which remind me of my eternal home. Hopefully you will experience the shift I experience whilst writing.

Here goes ….

delicate fingers tapping away at a keyboard

words appearing on a screen

silky sentences paint a beautiful picture

each syllable ignites the page

will my words be too strong for you?

will it set you on fire?

will it sooth your restless soul?

i write not, just for me

somehow i write for you too ©

Social Media and Privacy

This morning whilst having my cup of java, I listened to a very interesting talk about AI (Artificial Intelligence – a topic which I enjoy)....