Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who watches the watchers?)
I like being a contrarian. One of those reasons is that it keeps you questioning your own beliefs and why you keep doing things. I think it also has many other benefits, one of which is that you’ll generally do better when investing your money.
But this article isn’t about investing or money really, it is about explaining what Google plus is otherwise known as Google+.
But more importantly, explaining what is Google Plus is also about discussing privacy and especially online privacy as you’ll see as we get further into this article. But first let’s explore what Google+ is.
If you Google the search query Google Plus you’ll likely find Google’s own definition and description of what their Google+ service is all about. But I’m going to give you my take on it.
Google Plus is a social networking service that Google has developed in order to compete with the likes of Twitter but more importantly Facebook.
Google+ works very similarly to Facebook. When you sign up or login to Google Plus, you’ll see a “wall” like feature that constantly moves downwards as what you and those folks in your “circles” share.
So in my mind it has taken the “wall” idea of Facebook and paired that with the moving tweets idea from Twitter. So you end up with what I like to call a waterfall of ideologies. You and your peeps are constantly cascading ideas, videos, notes, pictures and links on this every moving and cascading online waterfall of ideologies.
To get a better view of what I’m talking about, here is a link to Larry Page’s Google+ account. For those of you unaware, Larry is the current CEO of Google and along with Sergey Brin one of its founders.
Now I’m not going to go into the details and nuances of how to use Google Plus. Why not? Because I don’t think you should be using Google+, that’s why. I’m about to get into that.
However, G+ does have a some very neat features like the ability to put people into circles and only share certain “posts” with certain “circles”. So you could have a work “circle” and a family “circle” and a friends “circle” and you can decide which post you place on your cascading waterfall of ideologies with which circle or circles you want to share it with.
There is also the cool feature of “hangouts” which are spontaneous or planned video Skype conferences that take place amongst folks on G+. You can have it with certain “circles” or with chosen people or even one on one. It is a neat and free feature.
There is lots more of course related to how to use Google Plus, but I want to get to the reasons why you shouldn’t be using G+.
And I’m not just talking about G+, I don’t think you should be using Facebook either.
It boils down to privacy. Folks, we are being sold by not only Facebook but ever more so now, by Google to the hounds of advertising and they are eating the flesh of us right off of our bones.
Here is a cool graphic that explains the problem with putting too much personal information out there related to online social media sites that are owned by corporations whose sole purpose – trust me – is to increase their reach, profit and shareholder wealth. I got this from the good folks at Frugal Dad:
The problem is that not only is our online privacy and identity subject to theft with the lack of care and consideration that is being shown to our information, but more than that, we are being played as nothing more than consumers.
When in fact we are human beings, fathers, mothers, daughters, brothers, artists, engineers, teachers, lawyers, firefighters and on and on rather than the $$ that can be extracted from us.
If you don’t think this is a big deal then you’re in for a wake up call as our civil liberties and freedoms become eroded. Privacy is important, not so that we can circumvent moral living as well as just laws, but because we all have things that we should be allowed to keep private.
Why? Because for one thing an equitable, just and democratic society requires that we be judged according to our abilities and skills rather than any diseases, sicknesses, conditions or handicaps that are beyond our control. It is these very things that need to be protected through privacy legislation.
With a little bit of searching you will become astounded at how much information is obtainable in profiling you with all the bits of information that is being stolen or snatched from you without your consent as well as personal information that you willing give that then becomes used for additional or irrelevant purposes.
I suggest you start your education at EPIC and EFF. I also recommend the use of Ghostery when surfing the net. Lastly, please really consider all the services you use, especially of Google’s. Having a Gmail account, YouTube account and G+ account has now become formally interlinked as far as privacy is concerned. You are being bled dry of your personal information. Think carefully of that. And while you’re at it +OnePlateOneBowl on Google Plus 😉