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The cognitive dissonance of internet privacy

In modern psychology, cognitive dissonance is the discomfort experienced when simultaneously holding two or more conflicting cognitions: ideas, beliefs, values or emotional reactions. In a state of dissonance, people may sometimes feel “disequilibrium”: frustration, hunger, dread, guilt, anger, embarrassment, anxiety, etc.

Cognitive dissonance, Wikipedia, June 27, 2013

In Which one’s Pink? Embracing the simulacrum, I talked about the cognitive dissonance Roger Waters must have felt as he claimed to be a socialist and humanist, but essentially began to act as the fascist dictator of Pink Floyd. Culturally, we are experiencing a similar cognitive dissonance, only it is in relation to internet privacy.

Facebook and Google want to sell you stuff, internet privacy be damned

We love the internet. We love our social networks. And in the media, we fully celebrate and boast to ourselves how we are monetizing the internet, making it more friendly for advertisers to access all of our information online, including our emails, contacts, videos, and pictures.

On Wednesday’s conference call, Facebook also disclosed how its efforts to better connect advertisers to relevant customers are faring. The company said Facebook Exchange, which debuted in September and helps marketers target customers in real time by matching browser activity to the ads they see on Facebook, serves about one billion ad impressions each day from more than 1,300 advertisers.

Facebook Revenue Rises 40% as Mobile Ad Sales Strengthen, EVELYN M. RUSLI, Wall Street Journal, January 30, 2013

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