Yes, Master

My Master

My Master

It’s inspirational quote day on Facebook, aka Monday. So I am negotiating a minefield of platitudes and pithy one-liners which sum up being sad, happy, a good mother, father, cousin, dog owner, cat owner, and lover. Others remind me to carpe that diem, to wang that chung, to let go of that grief, regret, or [enter negative abstract noun here], and one that tells me to be the change I wish to see in the world.


Also, I find an awesome recipe for baked salmon and potatoes. I save the recipe, deciding that I will make this tonight. This is the third recipe I have taken from Facebook in the last week. At first, this doesn’t worry me. I am getting something healthy and positive from Facebook, after all.



I tell one of my colleagues about my imminent salmon experience and she adds that she has just made brownies from a Facebook recipe. Our officemate mentions a smoothie recipe he got on Facebook.

Then a thought begins to fester.

Is Facebook telling us how and what to cook? And worse still, are we listening?

It doesn’t end there, either.

Recipes are not the only suggestive influence I am taking from Facebook. Facebook tells me what events I might be interested in. Further, once I click on an article or a video, Facebook immediately suggests four or five more “that I might also like.”

And I do.

Facebook’s making all of my decisions for me. What the hell?

Now down the rabbit hole, I see it’s far more than simply Facebook.

My technology is constantly telling me what to do. Every technological device in my house beeps and rings every time I get a message or a notification. It tells me when to update, it tells me when to scan. It sends me reminders I don’t remember setting, which is as terrifying as it is ironic.

I’m not done yet.

Other apps tell me what to do all the time. Pocket (an app for saving articles for later, offline consumption) emails me suggestions on what I should read. Of the ten or so articles they recommend, I download four or five. When Tinder matches me with someone they prod me with constant, not so subtle jabs to message her with a very “you’ll regret this if you don’t” judgmental tone.

So if I am doing everything my technology tells me to do, what the hell is next? Is it going to start suggesting sexual partners or which friends to delete off of Facebook or in real life? And will I listen? Will I soon be double guessing a doctor because of what my computer tells me?

Suddenly Terminator: Rise of the Machines makes sense.

Is my computer going to start telling me how I should feel and what I should do?

Scary thought. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go make salmon. And later I have to be the change in the world I wish to see.

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