Posted in Mumblings and grumblings

Social advertising and social media

Some of you may have read Feed by MT Anderson, a dystopian novel where all the characters are implanted with a feed at birth. The feed allows them to chat with their friends and connect to the internet. It also streams adverts. Sound familiar? After reading this novel I felt relieved that our world was not as scary as the world portrayed in Feed. However my recent experiences with Facebook have got me worried.
It started a few months ago when I noticed that my feed was full of advertising. Not just the adverts on the right hand side that you accept as the way that Facebook makes a profit, but adverts scattered amongst my friends comments and photos. These were products that my friends had ‘liked’ and had now become a stream of adverts in their friend’s feeds.I made a comment or two about this wondering if others were getting annoyed by it also. My mum was the only one who was having the same issue. Another friend said that it didn’t happen to him. Were my mum and I the only ones being targeted or had others not really noticed that their feeds were filling up with adverts?
I googled how to get rid of this annoyance and followed the instructions from the Facebook help page. The next time I opened Facebook I breathed a sigh of relief thinking that I would have an advert free experience and that I could enjoy all the things that I liked about Facebook again. I was wrong. The steps that I took to get rid of the social adverts did not work. I repeated the instructions to no avail. Shame on you Facebook.
This is an insidious and sneaky form of advertising which I find invasive. Social media is great because we can connect with and share with our friends. There is enough advertising on Facebook already we do not need to have it thrust into our faces via our feeds. I have deactivated my account, of course you can’t just delete it, thereis a form to fill in for that. I am now using Google + which has no advertising.
After this experience I was reminded of the Feed novel and I thought about our younger generation who are growing up with social media. Social adverts are normal and acceptable for their generation. In Feed the characters are inserted with a feed from birth apart from one character whose family oppose the idea. She eventually dies. She is unacceptable to her society. We need to oppose insidious social adverts now, it should not be acceptable to have the next generation grow up as brainwashed consumers. Aren’t we bad enough already?

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Author:

I am an English teacher of year 9-13 students at Whangaparaoa College. I enjoy incorporating the use of technology in the classroom and researching effective ways of engaging students. In 2012 our school introduced compulsory BYOD for year 9 and I have enjoyed this challenge. I am an advocate of Project Based Learning and plan to increase my use of this teaching style. I am also a musician and enjoy playing in local bands. If I can include music in my teaching in some way, I do it!

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