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"I’m Not The Product, But I Play One On The Internet." ~Derek Powazek

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Derek explains in detail why the phrase "you are the product" is meaningless:

We can and should support the companies we love with our money. Companies can and should have balanced streams of income so that they’re not solely dependent on just one. We all should consider the business models of the companies we trust with our data.

But we should not assume that, just because we pay a company they’ll treat us better, or that if we’re not paying that the company is allowed to treat us like shit. Reality is just more complicated than that. What matters is how companies demonstrate their respect for their customers. We should hold their feet to the fire when they demonstrate a lack of respect.

And we should all stop saying, “if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product,” because it doesn’t really mean anything, it excuses the behavior of bad companies, and it makes you sound kind of like a stoner looking at their hand for the first time.

Plenty of companies we pay treat us badly -- Comcast, AT&T, etc.

So it's no excuse to treat us badly just because we AREN'T paying for a service with money.

Because we're paying with attention. And time.

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