Last week in my Consumer Behaviour class with Laura Kittner, we had an open discussion about Sam Harris’s podcast on Persuasion and Control. Through the podcast, I was struck with a thought about our online or rather digital personas. We care so much about what we post but we don’t think twice about what we “like” on social media… why is that?
In the podcast, Sam Harris and his guest Zeynep Tufekciabout data collection in regards to our digital footprint. Everything we scroll past, every post we stay on, every “like” we give all lends to our own digital persona. It seems we never consider that marketers are using that data to read and predict our vulnerability to purchase.
Marketers have access to this data and have been reported using it to market certain products to consumers. A case discussed in the podcast highlights a company in Australia sifting through data of adolescent females. They were looking for individuals that showed possible signs of low self-esteem through their online behaviours.
Is this ethical?
As individuals, we take so much time out of our lives crafting and caring about our online persona. We take hours crafting the perfect posts and ensuring that they “fit our aesthetic” and our “personal brand”, but we forget about our more personal behaviours on social media and how they impact our image. Though the average social media doesn’t have access or care to have access to knowing what the people around them are doing online, marketers do.
Where is the line drawn?
If we took the amount of time thinking about the posts we are “liking” and seek out our purchase behaviour would be incredibly different in theory.