NETFLIX does not cost Rs.499, it costs your time.
Coke doesn’t cost Rs.30, it costs you your health
Social media isn’t free, it costs you your focus.
There is always a hidden cost. Remember the golden management quote: “when something is free, you are the product.”
I saw the above meme on a Facebook post and it got my attention. And in as much as it’s not a new concept for me since I have written loads about such, it seemed to provide a new perspective to me and I decided to push it a bit by creating thoughtful counsel out of it.
I must say that the entire world has officially become a space where people run around, and fly around, chasing after things they never really get in the long run, but have lost the ability to even see what the consequences of those pursuits create. So, people have become deeply ignorant of things around them, not because they are not smart or of sound mind and able to make better judgments, but because they ignored for too long the very things that are going on around them, while they engage in their chase. So, they have become ignorant even in the face of many studies and high-sounding educational degrees. My question remains, “What is the cost of your ignorance”? Let’s answer this question together by analyzing every one of the lines of the meme above.
NETFLIX does not cost Rs.449, it costs your time
For those who may not know, the Rs before the number stands for Indian Rupees, so I must assume that the writer of the meme used Indian society as the backdrop for his or her thoughts. Now, yes, I am a writer, graphic designer, video maker, author, and singer, and very articulated in my mind how these sides of me work, so it will be easy for someone to think and even believe that I must be an ardent watcher of movies and stuff. But far from it is what the true reality on the ground is. My wife likes to watch her series, especially that crime buster stuff and I do not have an issue with those. Mind you, its not like I do not intentionally watch movies sometimes, I do, but not necessarily as something of passion. I would generally prefer writing one thing or the other than watching movies. So, I join my wife sometimes to watch her crime buster series, because, as part of how my mind works, I love to see how crimes or issues are resolved. But one thing never leaves my mind whenever I find myself spending much time beyond reason with those movies. It’s like an alarm trigger that says “remember that the actors and actresses of those movies have collected their money and are spending them on some vacations and holidays. Do not waste your own time loading yourself with someone else’s fantasies”. I can relate to these thoughts anytime they come to me, for as a writer and especially a scriptwriter, I know what television or movie life is. Just someone else’s fantasy, even when the story is a true-life story. It’s nothing but the figment of someone’s imagination and most times, the writers themselves don’t even live the life that they wrote about. So, imagine wasting your entire time watching the imagination of someone who is enjoying his or her life in one of the most luxurious hotels in Dubai, while you are here somewhere in Durban sweating and trying to figure out how to pay for your Netflix subscription. Is that not witchcraft?
Now they say time is money. But that too is foolishness. Time is not money, time is LIFE. Money is just a medium of exchange for what you want, but what on earth can you exchange for LIFE? NOTHING. In fact, since the opposite of life is death, it then means that the only thing you can exchange for life is death. And what that tells me is that, as you waste your time poking your eyes into every movie and series on Netflix, remember that it’s not time you are using. You are using your life while the owners of Netflix whom I believe don’t know you even exist, are smiling with billions of dollars in the bank. Think deeply about it.
Coke doesn’t cost Rs.30, it costs you your health
Have you ever seen one of those short videos, I think they call them kitchen hacks, where someone decides to wash their toilet with Coke? They just open a fresh bottle of Coke, pour the contents inside their toilet bowl as if it’s a toilet cleaner and after a few minutes, they brush the toilet bowl and it turns out white like snow. I want you to fumble with the image I just explained in your mind but replace the toilet bowl with your stomach and your digestive system. When you’re done with that first part, then ask yourself this question. If Coke can make my dirty toilet bowl as white as snow, what is it doing to my intestines and stomach? Maybe the quest for the answer to the above question will help you go research answers. That’s up to you.
I see people all the time saying they are going for weekend treats but their so-called treat is junk food and a big bottle of Coke. But have we asked ourselves why there are more cases of cancer than ever before? Leave aside the fact that the so-called big pharma and their sponsors want everyone sick so they can make more money from their fake and poisonous drugs, but bring into perspective how they do it. Through their contaminated and dead food products that you eat which are also owned by their friends and partners. So, it’s a huge conglomerate of murderers and psychopaths whose hearts are dead and who don’t care who dies from the use of their products as long as the money keeps flowing. Do not make yourself and your family their next victim. Be wise.
Social media isn’t free, it costs you your focus.
Have you thought about the fact that social media is just as reality-bending as television and movies? And yes, I agree that social media has helped to bridge more people and created closer communities in our world, but at what cost? I have read several times that the owner of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg does not allow his kids to use the platform. How true this is could be contestable. I have also heard such things from several of the owners of these popular social media platforms. What do they know that the users of these social media platforms don’t care to know? A lot, I guess. But one thing stands out for sure. Social media, in as much as it’s a great tool for socialization, is also a huge tool for the distraction of focus. What on earth can an unfocused person achieve? Not much, I guess. But this is what social media does to us, it takes away our focus from what is real in life and substitutes it with falsehoods. Fake friends, fake likes, fake comments, fake fan badges, fake everything. But the only thing that is not fake on social media, is adverts and promotions. Yes, what they are promoting may be fake and dangerous, but at least they are more real than most friends. They pop up on your screen with no regard for your privacy, especially after you just mentioned that particular product to someone. Social media has become a spy tool for monitoring the masses and most are not aware of it.
There is always a hidden cost.
“when something is free, you are the product.”
If you have heard of the statement “no free lunch”, then you must understand what the above statement means.
We now live in a world where the most expensive product is not oil, gold, or even diamonds, but DATA. Data mining and the sale of data have become the newest cash cow in town and it’s mind-boggling when you narrow down the entire narrative and then realize that data is not just data but human identities. And those identities are the things that make up the owners. In other words, data sales are the sale of human identity which is similar to human trafficking. Why do I say so? When you sign up on a social media platform and then your information was sold without your knowledge to advertising and marketing agencies and then they used that data to sell you adverts and promotions, right within the same or outside of the social media platform, that’s your identity, your life, being used for business. That’s human trafficking for gain. Since I am not very knowledgeable in the area of data and marketing, I searched for more concise information about data marketing. I found an article called “What is Marketing Data” on a site called cognism.com.
Here is what I pulled out from their article.
“What are the different types of marketing data?
There are 7 types of customer marketing data that businesses should be collecting.
You might find that the nature of your particular B2B organization causes you to lean into some more than others, but to some extent, you should have all of them covered.
This is especially true if you want to use data to develop marketing product strategies and identify goals.
The 7 types of data used in B2B marketing are:
1 – Demographic data
This is the most fundamental information that every marketer needs. This is information related to personal and geographic attributes. It’s not going to give you too much information about the lead’s buying habits or interests, but it can give insight into whether they fit your ICP (ideal customer profile).
Demographic data looks like this:
- Email address
- Telephone Number
- Employment History
This type of marketing data is the basis for demand generation. It can be used to target prospects through email marketing campaigns.
2 – Firmographic data
This type of marketing data is particularly useful for account-based marketing, where campaigns are targeted at a group of decision-makers inside one company as it’s a collection of information about companies.
Firmographic data looks like this:
- Company name
- Company location
- Number of employees
- Company revenue
Many marketers will stop here. A combination of demographic and firmographic data points will provide enough information to implement a relatively targeted, growth marketing plan. But you can go a lot further if you gather even more useful marketing data.
3 – Technographic data
Technographic data refers to information about the technologies that individual prospects or their companies use. There are two reasons marketers should be collecting this information:
- Understanding this can give the marketer some insights into the contact’s workflows, how they could be improved, and the pain points they might face day-to-day. This is particularly useful if you’re providing a particular solution that other technologies don’t have.
- Evolve or fade away. Understanding which technologies are being used by other companies can help you to define your own workflow. Look into what can be offered by these technologies and decide whether you should be using them yourself.
This type of marketing data is prized by product marketers, who can map features and benefits against their competitors.
4 – Chronographic data
This refers to the real-world events that impact individuals, companies, and industries. Also known as event-based triggers or sales triggers, they often highlight when a prospect or a company might be ready to buy.
Examples of chronographic marketing data are:
- When a company moves to a new location.
- When a prospect starts working at a new company.
- When a company is acquired or receives new funding.
- When a company signs up or partners with a competitor.
- When a company announces a recruitment drive.
Without regular updates, chronographic data sets can stagnate very quickly. You’ll want to invest in a sales intelligence solution, like Cognism, to enhance your marketing data and keep it fresh.
5 – Intent data
The latest type of marketing data and one which is sure to revolutionize the industry. Intent data refers to the measurement of web users’ behavior (where they go and what they interact with online), with the purpose of predicting what they do next.
There are two types of intent data:
- First-party intent data – information that a business collects about their users from their own platform and/or website.
- Third-party intent data – information that is gathered from a number of websites, search engines or platforms. It is usually supplied by intent data providers for a fee.
Intent data is perhaps the most valuable type of data for a marketer. It indicates when a prospect or company has the strongest intention to buy a product or service.
Listen to the podcast below to learn even more about the benefits of intent data for data fuelled marketing:
6 – Quantitative data
Quantitative data is the ‘how much’ – nothing less than cold, hard stats for marketers to interpret. This marketing data type is collected during the marketing process, through the use of analytics tools.
Quantitative data points look like this:
- Website clicks
- Form completions
- Event appearances
- Email open rates
- Click through rates
- Current customer information
The amount of quantitative marketing data that you can collect is enormous, so we’ve only listed a few important ones. Feel free to experiment with your own.
7 – Qualitative data
Qualitative data is the ‘how was’. It’s concerned with quality rather than numbers. This can often give you insight into the type of person the prospect is. It’s hard to collect at scale, but is always worth recording when you do speak to a contact.
Qualitative data looks like this:
- Social media activity
- Notes from previous conversations
- Questionnaire completions
- Product feedback
The importance of qualitative marketing data is often overlooked. It’s additional useful information that doesn’t fit into the data categories marketers often focus on. Used right, it can give you a very competitive edge.”
Take back your life
Now, imagine all of the data about you that cognism.com wrote about is in the data center of a social media platform you signed up for, is that not your entire life that is under the control of some faceless people? Yes, it is. And that for me is very scary and should get you concerned.
To take back your life does not mean staying away from the internet or removing yourself from social media. But you can do that if you really want to do the extreme of saving yourself. Since 2007 or so when I first joined Facebook, I have deleted my page more than three or four times. At each of those times, I just felt like I was being pulled into something not good for me, so I followed my heart and deleted the account. So, taking back your life really means, not allowing anything or anyone to decide for you how to go into the future or how to live your present. Taking back your life means that, when you see an advert on your social media page, you don’t have to be pulled to follow it. Someone paid for that advert to pop up on your screen and to click it does not always mean you wanted what is being advertised, but someone also gets paid for each of your clicks. Meaning that from all sides, you have become a product for both the owner of the social media platform and the advert or marketing agencies.
A person on a journey who listens to every dog that barks will never get to where he or she is going. So is social media. The distraction and illusion of social media are so great and right in your face that, it’s difficult to even know that you have become a product for some faceless billionaires. So, take back your life and be disciplined with your time. Time is not money, time is life.
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Samuel Phillips is a writer, graphic designer, photographer, songwriter, singer and a lover of God. As an Afrikan content creator, he is passionate about creating a better image and positive narrative about Afrika and Afrikans. He is a true Afrikan who believes that the true potential of Afrika and Afrikans can manifest through God and accurate collaborations between Afrikans. Afrika is the land of kings, emperors, original wisdom, ancient civilizations, great men and women and not some road-side-aid-begging poor third world continent that the world finds joy in undermining.