Tag Archives: security

Is TikTok a cybersecurity threat? It depends.

Whenever people say TikTok is a cybersecurity threat, you just wanna go for the deep ends. The last time I blogged, just like the Titanic meme, it was many years ago. I mean, imagine if you needed to wait for my next blog so you had something to do. That would be a bummer, wouldn’t it? I was proud of how I finished my text. But let me tell the joke: instead of a deep ending, I could invest in a deep beginning, and so I’d start talking about, I don’t know, Mariana’s web. Oh shit, that’s a spoiler. Alright, the philosophy of Kant, baby voice version! Here it goes.

This thumbnail shows Kant’s philosophy as a “no gray areas” kind of thing. As this (brilliant) content producer puts it, the author says “what is right is right, what is wrong is wrong, period”. Thanks to Maria Popova, who runs one of the most brilliant blogs in the world, now called The Marginalian, I found out about this video. My thing is whenever I think of a historical writer, I Google Maria’s blog to see if she’s written about it. She always has. And that happens to be a short version of something dense.

So you find that people have been there before you. But what are you talking about? The list of surprises in my childhood vary so much. When I was about 4, I think I saw my dad’s dick. I was 6, I broke my finger. By the time I was 9, someone at school asked me to translate “fish”, “ball” and “cat”, but in Portuguese. Here you go, geeks (or people who never got out of 3rd grade; you never know): those three words translated, in my first language, sound like I’m saying “I just sucked dick”.

Now, is that funny? Yes. It is. So you’d probably see this all over TikTok. And that is the appeal. We care less about children saying the word “dick” than we care about our kids being happy. So we let this one slide. Alright, kid: laugh about the blowjob joke. But what kind of blowjob? Have you actually scrolled TikTok?

This blog has written about the concerns of the competition. That’s what people don’t seem to get. TikTok in Brazil has people saying (to be honest, that was years ago) that teenagers liked to fuck “the brothers in the faction”, and then you saw 14 year olds tease their tiny tits on a top and jiggle their butts on camera at the sound of a videogame gun loading. Is that okay, Bolsonaro?

Why is TikTok a government issue?

I don’t know what the guy thought about that. In fact, in terms of media, we might be about to see what happens. What most people say about TikTok is that it compresses time and relevance. People have become obsessed with the ticking clock and they want to be talking flawlessly.

That lack of imperfection is a social factor that needs to be addressed, but the companies are injecting that into teenage brains, not anyone else.

The other aspect is how messages are heavily edited and it becomes hard to follow what’s being said. It’s literally too much information. For the younger or foreign, there’s a short: “tmi” — and you can probably add the Urban Dictionary to your favorites if you haven’t, or just keep in mind it exists. It speaks very closely to tl;dr. I’ve had to navigate these terms “growing up online”, with expressions like “wdym” (“what do you mean?”) being a puzzle to me — but I always found my way around it.

A third aspect is how that’s going to play out. On the one side, you have too much information (and let’s not even talk about data); on the other, you have too little information. The videos are short by standard, just like Twitter. You see, TikTok observed Twitter for a while, but it also observed Instagram and YouTube. Then it mixed it all together, made the “best algorithm for success”, and got every teenager in the world addicted.

According to Soko Media’s Business of Apps, TikTok was expected to reach 1.8 billion users (let’s just say it will soon reach the 2 billion mark), with 3 billion downloads. That’s a lot.

So the question of whether TikTok represents a cybersecurity threat becomes relevant. What is cybersecurity anyway? 2FA? Incognito? Lock screens? Passwords with caps lock? Apparently, it’s not a password manager, and it’s not believing too much in digital money either (just in case someone needs a reminder about LastPass and FTX).

To me, this is absolutely about identity. And what I would personally point out as a cybersecurity threat is the use of biometrics. Do your own research, or maybe ask at the local bank. Hell, we ever had to do that during elections in Brazil. I didn’t. Many did.

Specifically, why is TikTok a cybersecurity threat, and not everything else?

Well, this one’s easy: the big four (Scott Galloway is my mentor) don’t like competition. As this video is from 2015, I think 8 years later we should be looking at how Meta is wasting our money. He does point out to Tumblr as a problem deal; today I strongly think Meta is guilty of fiscal irresponsibility, not in the fashion that Brazilian ousted president Dilma Rousseff was accused of, by using the Bank of Brazil’s money to buy food, but taking 87 billion dollars and investing in some virtual reality.

But why would you care about international context?

If you wanna draw a parallel, I’ll be translating from Brazil’s Veja magazine:

The accusation is that the government delayed the repayment of 3.5 billion Brazilian Real to the Bank of Brazil for the settlement with beneficiaries of the Plan of Agricultural Incentive. With that, The Bank of Brazil had to deal with the expenses from its own pocket, with a bond from the Treasury. This credit transaction, since the government ended up taking a loan from a State bank as the Bank of Brazil, is prohibited by the Law of Fiscal Responsibility. By the end if 2015, in a decision from the Federal Court of Accounts, Treasury finally settled the 72.4 billion that were still late. The main consequence: a deficit of 115 billion in the government’s budget.

Veja magazine article, June 6, 2016.

I have questions! Was it 115 billion or 72 billion? The magazine doesn’t explain the 42 billion difference in the report. What consequence? Didn’t the payment go through? If you care about finance, it’s one thing. If you care about money, it’s arguably another. Having a credit card, you pay your bills because you have a job — otherwise, you wouldn’t be having a credit card. But go say that in public today. Fintech is the future! Notice how interest rates made a 3 and a half billion loan turn into a +100 billion debt. And again, the payment went through. To whom? It’s safe to say that was the market. But it seems that people forget about that part, don’t they?

And this market build on other things. Dilma had to face, in her own way, what happened when the American government wanted to spy on the country’s communications. The result was to let them, while Americans ran their businesses we treated abusive practices as normal. But they wanna talk about TikTok? Without addressing how much money people derive from data, we’ll never get to the point.

Without addressing the role of marketing in our lives, we’ll never get to the point. Cybersecurity has a lot to do with marketing. There are many initiatives to stop companies from spying on us, the most famous being Ad Blockers, recommended by many.

But what about the young girls dancing?

I’m not here to judge, man. Are you? The girls can surely listen to some better music, but I think I barely understood the Red Hot Chilli Peppers when I was 11. And I actually liked Eminem. I’m not gonna judge the girls, and I’m not interested in supporting their little dance moves either; but you see, I’m far from being their daddy. If we’re talking about Snapchat, though, there’s much to debate.

The biggest cybersecurity threat doesn’t come from TikTok, necessarily. What we face today is companies having access to your every account, without distinction. You can’t just label an Instagram account “just for fun” without calling it “professional”. And that is far more troubling. But we might just get stuck on this idea that if there’s a tick on our cock, you might wanna get rid of it. That might be, indeed, a very serious threat. Or maybe just another blowjob joke.

Let’s be real: what the hell is happening with internet security?

It seems nobody wants to talk about the ongoing disputes between Microsoft and Google. While the former never ventured on social networking and only decided to develop mobile applications very recently, thought we remember Lumia, the cloud is an interesting point to analyze: having your documents stored somewhere in the scope of the company is suddenly the best thing to do, but apparently, keeping your stuff to yourself is very inconveninent — in fact, if you want more than 5Gbs of storage with One Drive, there’s a fee. Google Drive, on the other hand, is an app used by many by choice, but not so much for Authenticator, a security essential that circumvents the problem of ISPs having developed autonomous regulating operations where the user keeps being monitored, but a systems failure makes the data inaccurate and you might have a different name, a different job or a different income. How do I know this? Of course, it happened to me.

As I changed my recovery email from the throwaway account I knew had been hacked, ransomware included but not paid, to the one I was using for nothing but banking, but still thought it sounded better than keeping clients from a decade ago with the company I worked at on my personal contact list, I noticed something, and I didn’t even tweet at Marissa Mayer, though I probably should have: it’s not the device prompt, or the SMS confirmation; it’s not Authenticator, which Microsoft apparently replicated, or the PIN; it’s not the screen pattern or the selfie verification. It’s all of these things together, and the fact that you have more than one account. And when you do, terms will make sure that the possibility of you being condemned by perpetrating ideological falsehood floats around your head, while you were simply trying to have fun — really, I was on Snap and Google Play Games, messing with a rated 10 MMORPG. I have to get back to it, cause Astre sounds very sad when she moans “don’t wake me up!” All the love to Singapore. It’s fun that a game creator (Lords Mobile Tower Defense, in this case) is in Southeast Asia, because today you can talk to anyone you want. Actually, you can be anywhere you want: just use a VPN. Internet speed will suck, but since you can’t pay for the premium, be happy with what you have. And next time you Google something, notice that your location is not accurate. Neither are your Facebook log ins. But Snapchat’s still got it! Funny, isn’t it? And let’s not even talk about Bluetooth.

They made instant payments possible for everyone via email or phone, and what’s more interesting, even social security, which you are now required to share on a random app. On the other hand, you have a 2017 story from Digital Trends citing comments from verification’s first massive implementation tests, and users saying: “if you don’t understand the basics of computer security, you shouldn’t be allowed to bank on the internet.” I wonder how people would replace this to fit today’s reality. “If you’re ugly, you shouldn’t go on cam”. How’s that for kindergarden classroom material? They’d love the debate. “Yeah, this one time I talked to a guy and he had like 3 chins. I was like ‘EW! GET AWAY FROM ME YOU PERV!’ I swear, you could stick a pencil in each fold of his neck.” And then you’d have to explain and tease, also: “but babe, have you thought about your own angles?” — of course, you’d be fired for saying ‘babe’. How do I know it? Cause it’s happened to me.

Image: Pexels

Send a picture from now: here’s my ceiling

When people were still getting acquainted with this idea that any two people could talk anywhere they were in the world, one of the most common things to sort of verify whether or not they were interacting with a real human being was taking a picture at the moment and sending it to the suspiscious potential friends. Everyone has their reasons, right? We understand that paranoia is probably caused by information society’s accelerated rise, and I’ve mentioned FOMA (fear of missing out) but haven’t been paying a lot of attention to new initiatives such as BeReal, a new social network that “promotes transparency and authenticity”. What calls my attention is that this sort of anti-glamourous approach to self-representation takes on many shapes, angles, and even technical settings. For example: if I do send you a picture of myself, which of my cameras should I use? And of course: you don’t expect me to show my full face, do you?

From a security standpoint, Qualcomm, for example, has proposed a model for future smartphones that has your frontal camera “always on”, to protect you from having other people rather than yourself looking at your notifications or even accessing the device, as reported by the Washington Post. I think that’s particularly interesting knowing that Qualcomm’s CEO is Brazilian (the interview was great, Bloomberg, thanks), and I’m here having an issue with biometric verification and what’s called the “selfie password” in order to use a credit card, the only form I could find of promoting my work after a period of Brazilian economic policy that majorly harmed the poor and political opponents. Examples? New laws funding culture got vetoed; review of quota law for Black populations in university; end of free public university proposed by law; the insanity of the project School Without a Party and its supporters, as reported by The Guardian; extremely overlooked economic inequality data, as reported by Oxfam; fintech being used for fraud, and so many other issues.

What makes me write a blog several days a week is this supposedly noble idea of making a bridge between the international, English-speaking context of school, college, business and politics, with media circling all of these topics, and translating it to the Brazilian learner while also pinpointing the problems in approach and false narratives to natives. I could invite you to go to Omegle and count the number of ceilings you’ll see, or add someone from Quick Chat on Snapchat and do the same. If I’m wrong (I am, very often) and this only happens to me, okay: you win. For now. That is absolutely not the only issue. Why do I need a selfie password in order to teach people how to have better conversations in English with people who actually respect you? How do I make a successful business without getting robbed from young people at the beach or the biggest companies in the world? And how do I prove that I’m real, and not just sweaty, when I turn on my camera and show my face while talking to strangers, because we’re all locked up in our apartments hoping that someone will have something good to tell us, and maybe even listen to what we have to say? I don’t care about authenticity. I care about meaning and mood. If you twist the meaning of my words, my mood will change. If you ignore my mood and want to give it a meaning you made up, I’ll come back at you. It’s very simple! But of course, there’s more ways to verify what’s really going on than putting two people against each other on purpose, or asking them to show what the top of their room looks like instead of the bottom of their body — which, depending on the case, might not be the end of the freaking world.

Image: Pexels

So many holes: why is my computer like that?

I found myself having a conversation with my dad the other day. He’s a photographer. So he needed his SD card to be identifiable, somehow. Don’t ask why the desktop computer I bought online didn’t come with an SD reader. Our printer was bought almost 15 years ago, and was still working until two weeks ago (thanks, HP). I remember printing college essays on it, and I felt really good about myself. But you see, hardware evolves. As smartphones became more en vogue (and please excuse my French), you’d find out years later, because you kept the old devices, that 32Mbs was nothing for something the size of your two thumbs. As of 2022, you get 256GBs on an Angelbird product for 300 dollars. But of course, that comes with things I can understand superficially, like 4K resolution quality, and things I cannot, like “fast sustained write performance of 260MB/s”. Sorry, 260 MBs per second? I’m still waiting for Instagram to upload my 15 second stories for as long as an hour sometimes — and I checked, by the way: that’s 18Mbs on a file that, in case everything’s working, takes about a minute to upload, often more than that. Connection problem? Probably, man. Because I just found out my IP is not my IP, really. So there’s a myriad of things we need to discuss… I told my dad he needed to be updated, because every security newsletter told you to do so to stay away from (guess what) viruses and other harmful stuff for your digital well-being. Of course, they talk about device health, not your own, because regardless of how many captchas it takes to prove that, we are not robots. But the thing is: despite the fact my dad takes amazing pictures, he’s still using a 2GBs SD card. Even the cheapest micro SDs, which sell in Brazil for as little as 8 dollars, have 16GBs storage. So come on, dad.

Well, alright. My phone sucks, my dad’s computer savviness isn’t the best, but we’re both trying to work online. And these things, apparently, matter a lot. I remember when I was writing this academic project, and I only had my old HP Mini (thanks again, HP) bought in 2011, I think. But then you started the thing, and a message showed (before BIOS and those things nobody ever talks about) saying “American Megatrends”. I’d been a Zelda fan for a long time, so the logo intrigued me; until I noticed that the version of that build was from the early 2000s. So even though I bought the computer in 2011, it was almost 10 years outdated. And 10 years after buying it, I was still trying to work with that. It was pretty much like using Windows XP when they were releasing 10 (of course, now there’s 11), and I mean that literally, not as a bad comparison. With my 8GBs mini SD, I actually installed Windows 10 on that computer. The result was… not good. So I think there’s a few things we need to learn early on, because now, everyone knows how smartphones dominate content consumption, communications and digital lives in general. We should be able to pinpoint a problem (like a camera that doesn’t work, for example) and know what to do. Who says we are? That mini SD, for example, was then “corrupt”, because the file I downloaded from the Windows website was squeezed in there and then nothing else could be written, not even after formatting. Not t mention that most apps can be transferred and run from the mini SDs, these days. But there’s more things that come to play, for example a webcam that freezes perfectly updated computers and gives them a blue screen of death. Driver issue? Compatibility? I could understand if I plugged the red, yellow and white cables in the wrong holes and the TV was noisy, but this? Help me out here.

Well, it turns out that now we don’t even need the chips in our bank cards, which took a while to come to the market. And of course, the number of cards that got “swallowed” by ATMs is pretty high (considering that happened with me at least twice and I’m one person; maybe I just had bad luck, but maybe not), so the number of people witnessing some kind of faulty system management on the palm of their hands might be pretty high as well — did your bank ask for your password twice, did the app crash or did it ask you to go to a physical branch to unblock it? Today, there’s this thing called crypto. And many would talk endlessly about the future of money, the whole decentralization debate, the taxes, the people-powered initiative; maybe they’d bump into some energy consumption issues, but defend themselves with the ease of transfer, process registration and safety arguments. But let’s be honest: who’s heard of Ledger? Apparently, they make USB flash drives used for storing crypto, and it’s interesting that they’re not 300 dollars; you can get a Nano S Plus for 79, actually. I’m just thinking: you put a little thing in a hole on your computer and then you get… money? I mean, how far is this thing gonna go, man? Call the hotline. Poor computers, don’t bother them!

Image: Pexels

The good news for the sexting fans is they’re not alone. But what about the bad news?

Jeffrey Salvitti, who started his career at JPMorgan Chase, America’s biggest bank, then went to work over 7 years for Google, posted a blog on April 2015 describing the “best ways to monetize your messaging app”. And like Liam Gallagher, there are many things that I would like to say to you. It strikes me that, this week, the always savvy tech coaches from The Next Web decided to cover a number of initiatives to facilitate things like creating games or making a website without a need to understand programming language, but then pointed out to a future of smarter chatbots. I hate that the term “pingback” is actually a thing, but the guy writing this blog, who’s not your teacher for some reason, has covered precisely the chatbot problem, and if we can’t name some names, then at least let’s assume some people have a particular distaste for midnight chat and bacon. What’s the deal, Amsterdam? The Heineken star is very red. Are you sober now? Starting over?

If I didn’t believe that a discussion on surveillance was relevant for the 21st century, at least, then I wouldn’t bring things up at all. The best I can do, though, is to offer people a bridge with cringe: there are profiles of people who are called “flooders“, but also “trolls“. And I think we can stop right there. Actually, let’s draw, shall we?

As you can see from our extensive, state-of-the-art research tools results compilled in the form of a self-aware quasi-meme that actually depicts a human face in Japanese style, spam is in between a certain kind of tension, not a peaceful convergence of mutual interest and collaboration. I’ll explain: oftentimes, people who have a lot to say cannot actually articulate their thoughts, feelings, opinions and so on. Nobody listens to them; so they’ve found out, recently in terms of historical documentation, that they can make use of digital platforms in order to feel seen, validated, represented, loved, and eventually (but not necessarily) become both a target of attention in a positive way and also an innanimate object of lust, probably in a negative way. It’s important to say “probably”. It’s also important to say “target” and include the adjective “innanimate” when using strong words such as “object”. Now if you can’t see what I did there, see you next class, bro.

Trolls are people who target other people. They’re not alone. They also don’t want the attention for themselves (good for you, trolls), but for that to focus, negatively, on other people. That can take a softcore approach or a hardcore approach. And the only point of convergence I’m intentionally looking for here, considering how many trolls read a text just to trash it a few weeks later, when they’re finally done editing a 3 minute video, is that you have to open your mouth in order to get a troll approaching you. That is, of course, a false premise: what you have to do is open an account. And that includes e-mail, not just Instagram.

Coming back to the theme: Instagram is not, as it’s been very much reinforced by Sheryl Sandberg (and one has to wonder what exactly you need to reinforce when you have 1.6 billion dollars sitting on your lap top), a platform where people should look for sexual content. Of course, she’s a prolific and very focused speaker, and some of her known initiatives (because we literally can’t about the unknown, and I think that’s perfectly reasonable) are worth a round of applause, like her side organization’s initiative to clarify what is and fight against gender bias in the workplace. But that’s Instagram! And let’s be honest? We know it’s not. We know so much that it’s not that a single leak (any teens reading?) cost then Facebook 6 billion dollars in stock loss. What would I do with 6 billion dollars? I don’t know, probably find out the countries with low score in the Human Development Index and learn about some of the people working to fight real issues that put them in danger, isolation included, but more biological, consistent and sustainable, and less politically-correct “humanitarian aid” need. Of course, I wouldn’t make the entire world think that I’m helping the Indigenous populations by giving them internet access, for example. See, the politically correct works sometimes; others, nobody gives a flying trump.

Messaging with end-to-end encryption became a model to be followed; of course, then came financial apps asking for your e-mail and screen lock, a picture of your face, all your address information, social security, last digits of your freaking credit card, and then gave you a thumbs up and a few punches in the face, but never mind, right? Snapchat, on the other hand, has always been a place where those people I mentioned earlier, who (ping pong is a great sport) “make use of digital platforms in order to feel seen, validated, represented, loved” and so on, relied on the platform’s privacy policy. Then, of course, they started to think that the assumption that privacy was something anyone could access, with that being a sort of hidden motto, but with guarantees of protection that in fact never came, was all a load of BS, just like every dude when they open their mouth. And when I say BS, it should not be confused with BTS, please. I’m talking “bullshit”. The one in the middle? I don’t think a bull turns to shit; a bull takes a shit, that’s for sure, and it smells. Sorry if you don’t follow finance. End-to-end encryption became the safeguard to face-to-face interaction, curiously… and we’re all fine with it. Why? Because of the group on the right: trolls. I think I’m being pedagogical, right?

Except some people decided to take a different route. A Brazilian YouTube channel called “Mastery in Business” has posted, very recently, an account on what makes Snapchat a pain in the ass for Mark Zuckemberg (don’t know that guy, by the way). Here’s their story: Instagram’s unapologetic copy of Snapchat destroyed the company, but now both focus their biggest investments on augmented reality. I mean, what freaking reality do you live in, brother? Online dating is a thing, Jesus Effing Christ! Also, can I mention Disney princess Jasmin and not have my site taken off? Because, if you click the blog posted by the guy that worked for Google, mentioned at the very beginning of this post, you’ll see that, in 2015 (certain sites had already been applying this model for literally a decade), the advice was to invest in so called “instant in-chat pay”. Other suggestions included increasing click-through rate (the term is very broad and used a lot in marketing) and a format of “pay per download” (and because I’m a musician, and not particularly successful, I’ll save that analysis for later). Fintech is foreign land to many, but one thing remains unclear, because of how little we can talk about it: it started with streaming, and we all remember that YouTube’s original slogan was “Broadcast Yourself”. Great, because if you doubt that people want this, go have a chat with Lief K-Brooks.

It sounds great that we can talk over video. I’m not really sure about my late grandma, but my dad does that all the time and seems to enjoy the experience, which honestly warms my heart. Except that, for this Brazilian channel, the danger (and “immorality”, as they timidly yet ridiculously try to argue) is that whetever you share is going to be available somewhere online, forever. This miserable piece of content disinforms, in a kind of version of Brazilian R7 (which, to those who don’t know it, is headed by a guy named Edir Macedo, owner of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, but also has other roles in media, as it’s been reported by The Intercept) talking about not privacy, but intimacy and sex. If there’s any merit in this approach, it’s the fact it points out that young people and adults do not enjoy sharing the same physical space, let alone the digital; but that is not even clarified, and what they do is a completely innacurate, extremely out of touch, out of tune and out of time analysis, like a gig rehearsal gone very wrong with a replacement drummer who’s never even listened to a rock band but wants to sit behind the kit to play Moby Dick and then tell everyone it sounded perfect, but nobody understood anything because they’re too close-minded. There’s a fun video, in case that doesn’t remind you of anything (and I hope Plant likes me by now).

The capitalization of private life is something to be taken seriously. So is international decontextualization of personal narrative (and personal lives, for profit, by the way). There are different kinds of jobs, pal. And no, Snapchat hasn’t been destroyed. What actually happened was that Facebook became object of an investigation on what legal experts call “anti-trust”; the Federal Trade Commission of the United States argues, in an ongoing investigation, that the company turned conglomerate is a monopoly of communication services, based on concepts such as “free competition”. I won’t go to Keynes, you go to Keynes; it suffices to say that communication, for someone who’s been studying it for a fair amount of time, is about more than creating software that will make you rich and powerful. Public information is available on Facebook having paid a fee as of 2014 (prior to the Google blog, mind you) when it came to knowledge that private massages were being targetted to sell more personalized ads. And though the fee was 3.89 million dollars, it seems that nobody cares about a number like that! Aren’t there a lot of houses worth way more than that?

But the problem is we’re outdated. You see, if you still want to use Snapchat and not worry about financial markets, fine. It’s not every business that spies on employees and regular people, on a daily basis, for their own gain and control of another person’s choices, right? If you think that, you’re probably paranoid. Much better to enjoy it! People want to know what you’re doing, because they wanna do it with you! Isn’t that great? And while the real actors (who are actually actresses, but you should call them models) won’t even bother to say anything other than what their work is known to attract, which is the, um, aesthetics, there are music artists now getting, to use a finance expression, 8 figures in views talking about what a lot of people have refused to address, which I would personally like to see described on paper as both irresponsibility and prejudice, if they can make sure to draw the parallels without using Microsoft Paint.

Image: Pexels

She thinks I’m naive, but we both hate technology

It’s kind of a given that everyone online speaks English and if you don’t you’re missing out, but because I’ve been a teacher since 2008 (and that’s not a lot of time, but I was 18 and now I feel like I’m in the age of retirement), I’ll share some things that have little to do with my personal history, journey, adventure or whatever. Connecting the world, Facebook, bla bla bla. Can we not be boring? I wanna pinpoint aspects of openness to difference, how that can distract us from reality and change our sense of priority, but also good things that can come out of your overlooked likes and follows. And finally, to say that not everything is about that. Except I won’t do any of that. I said I want to, not that I will. The story would matter if it weren’t for the details. I often say I have 3 online relationships that matter. But because I can’t avoid to make a bad analogy, here’s 3 things, details, that we don’t often think about, and we probably should, if we want to live in or build the next moment of digital life — and why not, maybe both:

1. Email

The past decade was a mess, wasn’t it? The short: all these giant tech corporations want to say it’s all our fault. I mean, how do I know it’s you if your email doesn’t have your full name? Wait, nobody does that. Ever. In fact, Beyond Trust, a company founded in 1985 specialized in identity, access and vulnerability management, says every person should have at least 4 different home accounts, while others have pointed out that the pandemic has revealed how invasive marketers can be when asking for subscriptions and email sign up. Radicati Group, based in Palo Alto, informs that the average number of accounts per user is expected to be 1.86 in 2022, totalling 4.2 billion accounts worldwide, with almost 300 billion emails sent every single day — a mind-blowing stat. And it’s worth mentioning that an average of 2 is just the indicator that people are likely to have another identity afterall, but average numbers are not representative of wealth gaps, for example: the minimum wage in Brazil is eleven hundred real, but I’m here catching coins to smoke my cigarettes while Microsoft buys Activision for 69 billion dollars, and all I can say about that is the number is great, I like it. But look, I won’t lie: I’ve had around 50 different accounts. Maybe 30, I don’t remember. Probably more than 20. And I’ll just keep lowering the number so it looks less bad. Yeah, alright: today, I use 3: Microsoft, then personal and professional Gmail. That’s an actual fact. But I have a feeling that the culture of throwaway accounts isn’t being explored critically enough. Someone I talked to recently was convinced that my 67 year old aunt not seeing my private parts was a good reason to create another account, while she thought maybe I wanted to have one to sneak on people. Here’s where we disagree: I don’t. And speaking of culture, your resume has your email. Talk about first impressions — freak out later, then eventually search for your rights. If we don’t want to share details of our private lives with family, it’s not an overstatement that sharing everything with strangers isn’t advisable.

2. Brands

I asked my dad, as I always do when I have something difficult to synthesize: how would you put this if you had to start the conversation? During breakfast, we spoke of how much weed marketing students smoked in the second decade of this technology driven century to come up with the idea of a letter F logo on a freaking pack of cookies, and then I looked for it on the beer I was drinking and there it was, printed on the aluminium can. I’m not sure if he was trying to bring me to reason just because I mentioned something illegal in our country. Actually, this week I saw good news about weed and bad news about weed, but you’d never guess, man. What he told me was that basically every product delivered by someone in commerce can only bring more profit if there are ways to make sure the customer comes back. And so we had a very indirect discussion about the amazing concept of fidelity — without even mentioning Cuba! Of course, he’s right. But do I just pretend that I live in the United States so that people can be faithful stalkers shilded by the law? Sorry, dad. What bothers me is, like I said on LinkedIn (God knows what they’re doing on Twitter these days), there’s technology today that’s supposed to make life easier, but we can’t afford it. I wonder what an Android 12 can do. I know I got a Go Edition, and Instagram sometimes gets stuck uploading the same 15 second story for an entire hour on the bad days, then you’re stuck on one account while you need to be looking at another, cause you can’t log out, and it doesn’t post (so you have to wait until they decide the upload failed). I still think it’s a joke that the Facebook address is Hacker Lane. Are they a cybersecurity company? Last time I checked (and you can feast on the core of my litterhole if you think I’m being ungrateful, Suckerberg), they were posting memes. One of them was nice: orchestras are just cover bands of past centuries. I was so happy, especially because the post has over 70 thousand likes and I have 18 complete plays on Bandcamp. I don’t think I wanna talk about iPhones, LeBron James doing ads for Samsung and CNN following or even the concept of BTS having almost 1.5 billion views on YouTube with a song called Dynamite — I mean, sorry, but aren’t they right below North Korea and their random missile testing? Is that why they’re brilliant? I don’t get it. Cause, last time I checked, the music was basically torture. But I mean, yeah, customer fidelity. I think we’re closer to porn fidelity (great channel, check it out). No, I am not dating Aria Nathaniel.

3. Apps

When my old phone couldn’t access WiFi anymore, I discovered a dark world. It was actually, coincidentally, right before COVID started, and I was there trying to search for how to unroot an Android. I like Star Wars, haven’t watched all the new movies, but I think the chances of me watching a YouTube video that proves my life isn’t real, just like birds, and I’m actually Kylo Ren, are very high. And Disney can totally sue me — because AI. The thing about AI is I can’t put I before A. Such a philosophical debate. Alphabet is a company now. If you’ve ever watched a CEO giving an interview (here’s Julie), you know they use the company name a lot, but maybe they occasionally slip a “we”. But we means you and I, a very important thing in education (I quote a lot), not I and A. Of course, that’s a teeenage troll’s argument, but it’s still an argument. And speaking of trolls, has anyone noticed the number of scams in apps? Maybe it’s a payment that doesn’t arrive. Maybe it’s how much Brazil wants to tell everyone our digital economy is so strong we’ve made 1 trillion worth of transactions with our new payments tool. But sorry, a strong digital economy in Brazil? No, buddy. Brazil is a lot closer to the TikTok of the flying kick because a friend ghosted them on the messaging app. Speaking of which… well, that’s not my job. But a pressing issue is monogamy, and while the general impression might still be that sexting is cheating, some people would say that it might be “not bad enough to matter“. And those people matter too.