Pardon me for the lack of coherence in my thoughts today. I am beside myself with disappointment.
I know people intimately who are insecure to the point of self-harm. It is not so surprising that insecurity is the first thing one gives away, despite one’s best efforts. The veil of confidence doesn’t have that taut thread to weed out the seeds of insecurity. Moreover, it doesn’t require much intelligence to detect insecurity from a distance.
I didn’t want to give myself away at the peak of my acting career. I had the reputation of a widely successful public figure to maintain.
I didn’t want to bite the dust by allowing my insecurities to erode me. The insecurities that I had locked up in an iron chest in Jupiter; the keys to the lock I had hidden inside the heart of Pluto. But the insecurities managed to break free, and along with the keys and the lock, took a whirling trip to the world. I found no suitable place to hide them. The Gods didn’t respond to my prayers, to my dismay.
Which is why, quite naturally, I asked you for ways to overcome my problem. I knew that you would, thereby, be aware of my insecurities. I trusted your privacy clauses, however; and I believed that you would confine my little secret to the asylum made of those clauses.
Among the stockpile of your recommendations, I picked the one that peaked the list.
I took your advice seriously.
Since then, I have been trying my best to be mindful but I am afraid you are making it challenging for me to make any progress. No matter whether it is a news website I visit or an e-mail I check or my social media accounts I log into, I find mindful ads on mindfulness running after my peace of mind.
It was a lapse of judgement on my part, I agree, to seek your help. Now I feel as though I have murdered someone. You have thrown your entire army of ads to hunt me down and haunt me. They follow me wherever I go online. I can’t even hide behind my private windows. Mindfulness pops up from nowhere.
Why can’t you mind your own business? Why can’t you stop stalking me?
On your shiny white page, you promised me that you would take care of my privacy. Rumor mills rife with speculations about your ulterior motives, your shaky character couldn’t sway me. I believed in your words.
No longer do I trust you.
Duck-Duck I Go.
You sold my information. You cheated on me.
I can’t fight you, no matter how hard I try. It is clear to me that I don’t have the right to be forgotten by your creepy web of algorithms. There are millions of people, we both know, who simply can’t leave behind their past and start afresh. Why? Because you dig out their dirty secrets, make them face a public trial. How do people make amends if they have to constantly live under your scrutiny?
I wish I could, but I can’t move to Spain or some other European country where you haven’t been able to spread your wings as much as you have in the rest of the world. I have to be Con-ed, Modi-fied. Or, something similar.
You see everyone from Mountain View; you own everyone. You … ogle. You rule the world. Your doppelgänger has successfully followed your footsteps, and, in the pretext of connecting the world, is making the world addicted. No wonder both of you are raining ads.
If I say a word more, you will not let anyone find any favorable traces of me on the Internet. I, along with my website, will be wiped out of history.
But you hadn’t been this greedy. I remember you had rejected the offer to be Yahoo-ed; you had focused on doing better. Repeated failures of your experimental products hadn’t dampened your spirit. For every failed Glass, You, my secret-destroyer, had a Tube you acquired.
I saw you growing from a wide-eyed dreamer to a powerful empire. I remember that tiny café with private cabins—far away from my house—where I used to hunch my back and spend more than 30 minutes with you to download an image of my favorite actor: Tom Cruise, who hasn’t grown any older, and still makes me behave like a crazy, lusty teenager.
That lust is a topic for a different day. Sorry, but not sorry.
Now you can download the entire history of all the actors in the world—and their scandalous, raunchy pictures—in less than a second. You and I have come a long way. Unfortunately, you aren’t making the best use of your talent.
Sure, you have democratized information, made knowledge accessible to one and all. The perils of the ease with which people are churning “wisdom” out of data, knowledge, and information aren’t hard to understand.
These days, everyone is an “expert.” It is a dangerous trend.
Having said that, I acknowledge your immense contribution towards making everything searchable. As insignificant as I am in the larger scheme of things, and particularly in front of the power that you hold on the world, I would like you to remember that your engine is running on the wheels of the humankind that you have reduced to numbers and data. Don’t paralyze your own wheels.
Be mindful of your own actions.
Stop selling me. Will you?