by Daniel DeWoskin
The issue is settled and has been for quite some time now. There is no way to live completely off the grid. At least, there is no way for a rational person who encounters the day-to-day responsibilities and whatnot to live completely off the grid. You do not have to use Facebook. You do not have to tweet, or use a smartphone. All you have to do is be a consumer.
If you use a bankcard, a debit card, a credit card, purchase items online, use social media, market online, or even engage in the most mundane activities using the internet, there is a profile of you. As I do engage in social media, I get a sense sometimes of what my “profile” must be. I use the quotation marks, because I am not referring to how I hold myself out, what descriptions exist regarding my education or experience, or anything of that sort. I am referring to what information that is bought and sold regarding my behavior as a consumer tells others who wish to market to me.
For instance, my Amazon purchases, my credit card purchases and patterns, and what websites I visit once had my social media abuzz with a notion that I wanted to go back to school. Apparently, I wanted to go to some fairly terrible and expensive schools. Apparently, I did not actually want to go to these schools so much as attend them virtually, paying gobs of money for a degree in some rather silly areas. I have no idea what genius algorithms conspired to compile a profile of me that suggested this zeal for more education, but I am likely finished acquiring degrees for the time being.