Let’s start with a few questions
• How did you wake up this morning?
• What do you do first and last thing in the morning?
• How did you do research for work/university?
• How did you decide what to eat today?
• What do you use to plan tasks for the day?
• How do you stay in touch with your family and friends?
The answer for a lot of these was probably technology, in
some way or the other.
• Be it software or physical devices, we’re constantly
relying on technology to manage our busy lives.
• In a way, it’s become necessary in order to simply keep
up with our daily duties.
Chances are, you’re probably using at least 2-3 social
media, and own at least one smartphone.
You most likely also spend over 3h per day on your phone,
outside of work-related apps.
Maybe you even downloaded some fitness or health related
app at some point too.
How would you feel if I told you big tech
companies like Facebook, Google, and others are
constantly tracking, analyzing and monetizing
your every move?
• Looking up random information (sensitive or otherwise)
• Chatting with friends online or offline (i.e. phone calls)
• Making a purchase
• Liking, replying to, making a post on social media
• Collaborating on a project online
• How long you slept for
• If you exercise, how often and your progress
• Discussing private matters with family members
• Where you live, work, hang out and how you commute every day
• And much, much more...
This is how tech companies grow
1. They create and advertise a ‘free’ product with a nice
design that’s easy to learn the mechanics of;
2. You end up talking about it with your friends and family
3. They start using it too and sharing it with their own
4. The product gets popular, you get a decent platform free
of charge. It’s a win-win, right?
If you were paying attention in the previous slide, you might
have noticed the ‘’ sign around the word free.
That is because there is no such thing as a free product.
We grew up knowing that ‘no free meal’ is a rule of life, and
the same principle applies here.
Companies are not philanthropists, they are businesses.
So, where does their revenue come from?
Their business model tends to rely on metadata they collect
from you, and then they analyze it.
Metadata is any data that isn’t directly readable off a report,
but can be guessed by analyzing or observing patterns.
Example: A company can’t understand what you said
exactly through a phone call, but they can tell that you
made a call to the hospital and your husband within 3
minutes, and that you were previously Googling ‘did my
Now we know that you’re not as anonymous as you might
have thought. But so what, right? They’re collecting some
information and selling it to advertisers. Why should you
The answer to this question largely depends on your
Are you comfortable with companies:
• Continuously collecting data about your entire online and offline
life (even when you’re not using their app)
• Analyzing it to make their algorithms more refined
• Passing on the information they collected to third-parties
(advertisers for money or governmental bodies)
• Using the information they gathered to incite you to use the app
more (using variable rewards to hook you in) and to drive you into
rabbit holes of more drastic news and conspiracy theory sources
• Forcing you to depend on them because they’re driving smaller
companies out through anti-competitive behavior
• Purposely creating and refining addictive apps digitalsobriety.blog
Quick run-down of some major data breaches
• June 2021: LinkedIn data breach, 700 million victims’
personal information was sold by the hacker
• April 2019: Facebook data breach, 533 million users’
information was exposed publicly
• May 2018: Twitter data breach, 330 million accounts
• March 2018: Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal, 55
million American accounts were mined for data without
If none of the previous points made you bat an eye, this
presentation probably isn’t for you, and that’s okay.
But if learning about this behaviour triggered a reaction, that
is a good indicator that you might benefit from the following
tips. At the very least, you should learn more about the
topic of online privacy and digital minimalism.
What you can do
• Delete apps you haven’t used
in the last month
• Leave social media
• Add DuckDuckGo web
extension to your browser
• Replace certain apps with
• Disconnect apps (i.e., if you
used Facebook, Google or
Apple ID to sign into websites)
• You can download a checklist
of all the things you can do right
now (it’s free, no email sign up):
I hope you found this quick presentation
useful and informative.
You can learn more about the topics of
digital minimalism, privacy, as well as all
other information in regards to digital
well-being on my blog Digital Sobriety.
The link to it is in the bottom right
corner, but you can also scan the QR
code on the right.