A Short Guide on How Not to Be Tracked Online by Google, Amazon & Facebook

General Interest, Privacy, Social Media

By: Jane’a Johnson

Image of a black laptop keyboardPro tip #1: Delete your Facebook. No, really. Delete it. And, while you’re at it, delete all of your social media, random applications, and get rid of your smart phone. If you are worried about missing out, think about how many books you can read, hiking trips you can take, phone conversations you can have, letters you can write, languages you can learn, places you can volunteer, hours you can nap, with all of your extra time.

Pro tip #2: Use cash, and buy all of your knick-knacks, couches, Thai food, and bubble water at local stores — you know, the way humans have been doing it for the last 5,000 years. If it’s too inconvenient, don’t buy things. But if you purchase goods in person, you get the added bonus of talking to a real person (unless that’s not your thing).

Pro tip #3: If you really love the internet, use search engines like DuckDuckGo. They aren’t as snazzy as google, but they don’t track you. Since Google receives 90% of its revenue from advertising based on the information it gleans about you, you’ll need to delete you Gmail, refrain from using Google Maps, and the like.

The thing is, we all have access to the ways to escape tracking — and there are myriad ways — but the temptation is strong to rationalize the use of something that gives us so much pleasure.

Excuse me, please, while I go check my Instagram.


Jane'a JohnsonJane’a Johnson is pursuing a PhD in modern culture and media at Brown University and an MLIS at San Jose State University. She holds a BA from Spelman College in philosophy and an MA in cinema and media studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. Jane’a’s research interests include visual culture and violence, heritage ethics and media archives.

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