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Why Won’t The Internet Just Grow Up Already??

I just got an email from Google telling me they revised their privacy policy to make it shorter and easier to read. They say…

“Our new policy covers multiple products and features, reflecting our desire to create one beautifully simple and intuitive experience across Google.

“We believe this stuff matters, so please take a few minutes to read ….”

If Google really believed this “stuff” mattered, why do they bother calling it “stuff” as opposed to “privacy”? Was this a way to try to relate to the average Google user? Aren’t Google users a group too diverse to even have a meaningful average? And how long did someone look at that email, considering whether to use the word “stuff,” and how many meetings were had over every word in that email? Who decided to try to temper the jargon-y, typical corporate speak with the carefully contrived use of a casual word such as “stuff,” and did Google ever consider that it might come across a tad (or more) condescending, trite, and offensive?

Google, and other similar companies such as Facebook, Apple, et al: please stop trying to sound hip.

The rest of us have grown up. No matter how many knit caps you may see bobbing on countless heads of too many 30+ year olds, underneath the hipster paraphernalia, many not so longer young minds are setting their wheels turning on how to save their own jobs, or supplement their income with a side trade or homemade product with the secret dream of sidestepping the dismal and abysmal and ever decreasing regular job prospects. Many are now thinking seriously about how scary old age looks in these shaky times, even while posting carefully crafted FB reports or blog posts proclaiming to be living a life driven by lackadaisical whimsy, struggling to convince all their “friends” how not worried they are.

But the truth is, as much as so many of us hate to admit it, we are growing up and we have grown up. It’s a necessary, if not always fun, thing to do. Now, Google, why don’t you?

8 responses to “Why Won’t The Internet Just Grow Up Already??

  1. very thought provoking.
    in defense of google, it appears they are a company marketing a product, the same way young adults who want to be part of the great society buy clothes, wear fake smiles, go shopping for cars…..all in order to join (work) so they can feed expensive habits, to sustain their own ifestyle choices, to support families, etc.

    Corporate speak and their inclusion of “hip” jargon as you say, is all part of an advertiser’s attempt to appeal to the common denominator or even more, to create one.
    It’s the blurring of differences into one similar cool clan all in pursuit of this great life where it is hip to go to the right bar, live in the new neighborhood, read the right books, have all the artist or political friends, and so on……

    Personally, it doesn’t bother me when companies use hip jargon
    in their advertisements or legal sections. Furthermore, I would pay a minimal monthly fee to use google and wikipedia. We’ve come to believe that these things should be free of charge. They are overlooked miracles. Search engines and cataloguing of information is a miracle as big as radio or tv. Their “jargon” is a small price to pay considering what it provides.

    In conclusion, I don’t see the connection between advertising language to appeal to a young crowd and “growing up.” I always thought growing up (joining society) was like Red says in “That 70’s show” to his son, “Being an adult means doing shit you don’t want to do.”

  2. Ralph ⋅

    I am always amused (in a bad way) every time I get the small book from my bank or credit card often called a ‘privacy policy’. After the 3rd or 4th page of fine print I usually wonder who they don’t give my information to. I’ve mentioned these things to people who probably wonder why I am not wearing a ‘tin foil hat’, but I don’t let that bother me. Anyone who does not believe their privacy is in serious danger needs their heads examined.

    Companies, especially big ones have one primary goal- to make money. Does anyone ever stop to think why companies like Google, Facebook, &c provide their services for free? HINT- it’s not out of the goodness of their heart, or because they love you. Anything these companies do is toward one goal- making money.

    Google watches and records all the sites you go to. When you then search for something the results are skewed to direct you to certain preferred vendors or sites. The ‘preferred’ sites are moved to the top of their ‘hit’ list so you are more likely to visit them rather than someone 10 screens into the search list.

    I believe (not sure) Google refused to turn that information over to the government. Not to worry, your internet provider does turn it over. Still feel your privacy is intact? All your text messages, emails, and tweets are handed over to big Bro. Not so private any more, is it? BTW, all phone calls are monitored (and your cell phone transmits GPS data telling where you are- permission no longer needed to get that info) and scanned for certain words Bro thinks makes you a suspect. If you or one of your Facebook ‘friends’ get flagged a suspect, everyone they talk or correspond with is now a suspect. Still feel like there’s any privacy online? Oh yeah, the government keeps records of everyone’s credit card purchases too.

    People need to watch what their Congress clowns are doing as many laws are passed when nobody is paying attention, or while some media circus event is occupying the news. BTW, if you’re reading this post, you’re probably already being monitored!

    So, I think it is not the internet that needs to grow up, but rather it’s users that need to realize NOTHING on the internet is private, and everything is used to generate money in some way. Think twice before you put your personal information out there. When you post pictures on Facebook, or elsewhere, be aware your camera may have embedded the GPS coordinates in that picture that can be used to find where the picture was taken- anywhere in the world within about 10 feet- and that goes for your cell phone conversations too.

    Hic sunt leones

    • Ralph, i find so many advertisments to be entertaining and rather brilliant and it doesn’t bother me at all.
      i’m glad google and you tube monitor me and cater to my entertainment needs. It’s instant cataloguing and yes, it is very generous. They save me tons of time
      and if someone makes a buck off it, more power to them. Who am I to judge? Just because I love an ad’s creative entertaining message has nothing to do with me buying the product. Cadillac commercials are fantastic, but that’s out of my budget and anyway, i hate driving.
      At this point, I have very little to hide. I’m simply not important nor that rich so bring on big brother. I’ll put the kettle on for tea.

  3. I. Garden ⋅

    Thank you, my revel fellows for a spirited and lively discussion. I think you’re both right, and incredibly wise. I would love to break bread with you together. Consider it an open invitation.

  4. Ralph ⋅

    Bread? Did someone mention breaking bread?? I just ate a piece of hot (from a bread machine) pumpkin bread. Not the same as an oven, but a bread machine is a quick easy way to get a fresh loaf. Similar to the the scribbled on tile saying a few posts back, “Will travel for bread”.

    You’re right Steven. In spite of the privacy issues I constantly use Google searches and Google mail. My probably too long post about privacy was merely to point out that lots of information is collected on everyone and often people don’t realize it. People with Facebook accounts, for example, post all kinds of things about themselves. Now days potential employers are likely to look you up online and see what you posted about yourself- or them! That has cost a number of people their jobs. Believe it or not, foreign governments also look there. If anyone is interested I can post a link with some podcasts about that and other privacy issues.

    In spite of all the potential bad things about it, I spend lots of time online. My computer also spends a lot of time checking for viruses and ‘tracking cookies’. In case anyone hasn’t heard of tracking cookies, they are little files placed on your computer by some websites you go to. They record where you go and what you look at, then report back to the place that put them on you computer. Many, but not all simply help a site determine what interests you. Others spy on you.

    Like you, I haven’t much to hide, and if anyone is tasked with monitoring my coming and goings they are indeed very bored. That does not mean I want to be monitored or don’t care that so many entities are doing it. I close my blinds at night, lock my doors, keep things in my car out of sight, and shred some papers before throwing them out. That does not mean I am a terrorist (although the government may think so now days). The loss of privacy is a slippery, and dangerous slope. People need to be aware of private information, where and how they use it- if for no other reason than identity theft.

    Well, to swing the subject back around to gardening, I just listened to another program on starting seeds indoors on racks. Check out :

  5. Ralph ⋅

    In spite of all that typing I missed one of Steven’s points about someone making money off your online activities. I listen to many podcasts, most of which have sponsors to help pay their bills. One or two podcasts I listen to have links to Amazon (which I use to buy some things). If you use their website link to search Amazon and then purchase something, Amazon pays the site a small amount. It doesn’t cost the purchaser anything. One site I listen to:
    has such a link to Amazon. I have purchased from Amazon through them to help support the show. In some cases, such as this, you can help support someone without it even costing you anything. BTW, that site has lots of interesting information on many topics. I have no connections to them other than I enjoy listening to their shows- you may want to check it out.

  6. Ralph ⋅

    No, I haven’t started anything yet. I did try a couple single seeds about a month ago but nothing happened with them. One day I’ll have to go outside and make a few soil cubes. The sage plant I brought indoors is showing unmistakeable signs of not enough light- long spindly stems and smaller leaf size. My red ti seems to be in a holding pattern. The couple in translucent containers show obvious root growth, but nothing above the soil. One that’s horizontal is showing three small ‘buds’ but they aren’t getting any larger. I suspect their being tropical plants it’s not warm enough for them to come out and play.

    A few recent podcasts on seed starting mentioned indoor starts and grow lights. I’ve thought of using lights but don’t know if I want to up the electric bill again after doing things to reduce it. I’ve toyed with the idea of powering grow lights off solar power. I have a couple batteries and inverter already, but I don’t know if there would be enough sun to keep the batteries charged off a reasonably sized solar panel. Ideally I only get half a day’s worth of sun in my yard. Take away the sun being blocked by buildings and trees for another portion of the day and there’s not a lot of time left to generate power. I haven’t totally ruled out solar power for low powered items, it’s just a lot harder without unobstructed access to the southern sky. My answer will probably be with alternate light sources, maybe LEDs. Housing and solar power have one thing in common, they both need a good location.

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