Fancy a Data Detox?

Let’s face it; the digital world is pretty awesome! It’s put so much human knowledge at our fingertips, as well as making access to online shopping, socialising, banking and its general navigation as easy as tapping on our phone. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

But have you ever pondered that as much information you take from the web, you are also giving back quite a bit too – and in ways you may not realise.

Ponder the possibility, that every time you do a Google search, those search terms might be collected by Google and build up quite a picture of your interests, likes or even problems. Or that every time you map yourself somewhere on Google maps, a nice little trail of everywhere you’ve been (or are thinking of going) is collecting on a Cloud somewhere.

As Google and similar providers have become our constant companions, indeed, in some cases our Number One advisors in life, data is compiled about our actions online, mostly to help us, to make our online experience more tailored and maybe to try and sell us things. But is this a cause for concern?

For the most part, it isn’t. But awareness is a powerful thing. And even more powerful, is the knowledge that, YOU are in control of your online experience and that you don’t need to feel that these issues are spiralling out of your control. There are tools to help and one current tool is The Data Detox Kit.

The kit was developed by The Tactical Technology Collective, in partnership with Mozilla (creators of the Firefox browser). The kit is an extension of their Glass Room Project, an installation which is running in London through Oct-Nov 2017 as a physical space in which to reflect on the “technologies you use every day, how much they reveal about you, and what choices you can make in our quantified society”.

The Glass Room
©David Mirzoeff 2017

The Data Detox kit is an opportunity to engage in such reflection at home or wherever you choose. It provides an 8 day framework in which to ponder a variety of your online activities, with strategies to take back some control. You can discover your ‘online self’ and see what it looks like to others, see how well Google and Facebook ‘know’ you, learn how to use browsers and Wi-Fi more cleverly and even tidy up your phone so it runs more efficiently.

And if that doesn’t convince you to give it a go, the other great things about The Data Detox is it’s free and it takes minimal time, only a few minutes a day!

So, grab the kit from the links in this post and happy detoxing! And watch this space for further news on the project, including a mobile Glassroom experience.

About the author:

Alan Duncan, is Program Assistant at State Library of Queensland. He loves seeing the science fiction ideas that captivated his youthful imagination coming to life before his eyes.