you're reading...

Personal integrity in the future – A vision

This interesting blog post about the life post Google by my fellow blogger Elisa, forced me to think about things I’ve consistently been avoiding. The topic is personal integrity. Why are provide great services such as Google Sites, Google Docs, Google Mail free of charge?

Does free lunch exist after all?

As a business student, that’s one of the first things one get to learn  –  that nothing is for free. Ever. Everything has a price. In this case about Google, we are giving away a huge amount  of information in exchange to their service, to a price not equivalent to what we give away.

Looking for free lunch? Have a closer look.

Looking for free lunch? Have a closer look.

Will companies like Google and Facebook, which benefit from our use of their functions prosper and continue to grow? I’m slowly beginning to see how a change is coming. There are however lots of good reasons why their influence will increase though. Let us have a look at Facebook. People tend have a wider circle of friends and want to stay in touch. People also want to share with others what they are doing. Psychologists like Ph Dr David Russell state that, ” One theme emerging from several studies is that direct actions with Facebook friends appear to increase individual feelings of connectedness and self-esteem.

In short it seems that we enjoy when we verify ourselves through social media. Also through these channels of communication crucial pieces of information have been shared which have led to radical changes, the best example today is probably how the democratic movements in north Africa.


Lots of reasons why people should stay connected. On the other hand, as we are getting connected to each other we also discuss the phenomenas more and realize the risks of using them. We get aware. As a long-term result, people will get more cautious about what information they are giving away about themselves, especially as Facebook goes public, as Pia reported,


We are using all different functions such as Google+, Gmail and of course the search engine. While doing that the company is able to cover different aspects of our personal preferences. From one source they get information about who we know, from another they get information about our interests and from a third they manage to get into our most personal sphere. How? Have a look at this video. It explains the dominance of Google. People already know this, but when the first people shut down the accounts, others will follow. I think this will discourage people from using all of their services in the long run.

Future ahead

Future ahead. My way or the highway?

Future and proving examples

I believe that when people realize and begin to read whether the pages they are using are

powered by google (here you can see a chart on how some of companies are associated with Google) or not, they will find other ways to keep in touch with friends and find information they need. The future lies probably in the hands of companies which without restrictions respect personal integrity and create value through Corporate Social Responsibility.

In the future, there will be a swift back to using Encyclopedias, where people can not go in and make changes in the material. Source reliability will become more important. I also believe that we will use search engines in different ways, maybe for different purposes. The other day, I met a person working on wegreen.de, which is a search engine helping its users to find correct information about products, to show whether they are ecologically produced or not. I think we will get to know many other alternative search engines and sites in the coming years.

The perfect wave

The perfect wave

When people start to abandon Facebook, there will be a quick change. The aware users will soon switch, and I believe Facebook is going to be like MySpace – “Something everyone once knew, but no one uses anymore”. Exception being the “wrong clientel”. Facebook, like most business, has an interest in not only that enough people want the product, but more importantly: that the clientel is right.

An important part of the clientel is the one setting new trends and caring about the personal integrity, which time after time is being left behind since it alone (obviously) is not making profit.  I e Facebook and Google want to be a perfect everlasting wave which the users are surfing on forever, not being another one of them waves, which only makes the average surfer head down to the beach. But without protecting personal integrity the users will not keep using the services from the companies just being mentioned.


6 thoughts on “Personal integrity in the future – A vision

  1. Hey Mattias,
    I keep reading your posts because they catch my attention right at the start.
    I’ve been thinking about this whole privacy issue as well, even more since we started using google docs and sites in class.
    Of course you can clearly see advantages of this technology. I like how you mention the revolutions in northern Africa in order to give a positive example of modern social media such as facebook or youtube.
    It is very easy to share information with your friends. Or you can just create a great presentation with a group and you do not even have to meet because of google docs. Lots of pros!
    But you give up a lot of privacy, too. This can be dangerous.
    But I disagree with you in one aspect. I do not think people will quit using google or facebook just because of privacy issues. I think they will keep using it. The benefits might not be bigger than the risks but this whole privacy issue is like an invisible threat. People are aware of it but don’t take it too seriously.
    I would be very interested if you could give some more examples why you think “when people realize and begin to read whether the pages they are using are powered by google or not, they will find other ways to keep in touch with friends and find information they need.”

    Posted by Martin | January 15, 2012, 2:24 pm
  2. Hey Matthias, as always your post is well written and I like your style to express yourself, because I can imagine too well what you were thinking 🙂 this whole privacy thing has been catching minds for some time now, and since I don´t even know about my own reaction so it is difficult to figure out how the issue will evolve… But I guess people might be leaving Facebook, too and people might go back to basics and prefer real-life conversations 🙂 You may also like this article: http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/234132/20111019/how-does-facebook-make-money.htm I think it gives us quite a reasonable explanation as to how facebook generates revenues.

    Posted by Pia | January 18, 2012, 2:40 pm
  3. Hey Matthias.
    Very interesting post! As Martin already mentioned, it was good that you offered different perspectives and advantages and disadvantages of Google and Facebook. Personal integrity is a serious topic and it should be taken seriously as well. But from myself I know that I am aware of the risks and still keep using Google and Facebook. Whenever I am confronted with the facts and once again see the serious privacy “deficits” of Google or Facebook (I just found an interesting post about this HERE: http://socialexcerpts.com/2012/01/facebook-privacy-issues/) I start to get a queasy feeling.
    We will see what will happen in the future – but I don’t think that people will abandon the use of Facebook. With Myspace it was different; by that time when Myspace had its “boom”, the use of internet was not as widespread as nowadays and in the course of globalization people get more and more connected around the world. One of the reasons why I wouldn’t just quit using Facebook is that I got to know lots of people during my travels and it is just so easy to stay in touch and exchange pictures, songs or whatever. The services that are offered by Google and Facebook are brilliant. Still I think that there should be made more pressure by governments and society to them in order to force them to respect privacy more.

    Posted by Lilian | January 22, 2012, 11:36 pm
  4. Hi Mattias,
    the other day a friend and I happened to talk about facebook and he thinks that facebook will be used less in the future. In his opinion it won’t be abandoned as Martin and Lili also think, but as I look around and observe my own behavior I can see that already: Limiting the information on the wall or detagging images and even some friends completely disconnected from facebook.

    If as you say, facebook and google will be replaced by other alternatives, I wonder how these will look like. Everyone seeks for profit and revenue, thus other options might be different, but still they would aim for the same goal: CASH!

    I like the actuality of this post, a topic that everyone can relate to. As I read the newspapers today, an article caught my eye, its title “simply authotarian”. It deals with the facebook’s power. As they decicded to force any user to be presented in the timeline profile in the near future and the step towards stock exchange.
    They state that the coming question about data protection will redefine the question of power.
    Just found a striking online article (http://www.zeit.de/digital/datenschutz/2012-02/student-verhandelt-mit-facebook) about a student who will talk to Facebook-Staff personally. He founded the inititative “Europe vs. Facebook” fighting against offenses of the privacy termns by Facebook.

    Since this topic is very interesting, I thought there would be a lot of discussions about limiting facebook’s power on the web, but actually there wasn’t any good stuff available (just spent 10 minutes searching). So, aren’t people aware of that yet? Why don’t the blog about that – or is it that anyone just accepts it and follows the cult? Maybe even a deal between Google and Facebook, not to show such contents?!

    It’s very cool, how you linked the videos to explain “free lunch” and “the (google) beast”!

    Posted by Fernanda | February 2, 2012, 7:10 pm
  5. Hey Mattias, very nice style of writing and an interesting topic you chose. I really like the structure and the way you lead the reader into the topic with your catchy picture of a “free lunch”.

    To be honest, would be helpless without “googleing”, since I can find most information I am looking for on there. But when looking for reliable sources I rather tend to the library and not to wikipedia. I once started to think about how much google knows about me just due to what I search and it’s a crazy thought I didn’t want to finish.
    On the other hand google docs and sites and mail are really useful in everyday life since you can share and edit very easily and almost everyone has a google account.
    If people should stop using Facebook or google they will start using something else. And does anybody honestly think those applications or social networks will collect less information than the current ones are doing?

    I think, rather than thinking about which web application will be the next “big thing” we should concentrate on building our on social network (not online!) and being able to differentiate between the contents we find on the web. Basically just use what we are given and still be skeptic about it.

    Posted by emilybrgmnn | February 12, 2012, 7:18 pm


  1. Pingback: What Google knows about each user… and how we can control it! « foodle - January 22, 2012

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: