By Zolani Matolengwe
In 2019 Christopher Wylie (34) who is a Canadian data consultant has been recognized worldwide as the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower after publishing a book called Mind F*ck about new data technology and the use of social media that were changing the way political campaigns spread their messages during the former United States of America Barack Obama campaign. Wylie exposed a company he was working for then about how they used social media and new technology to track, see what people like and engage in on social media to create some kind of poll where no one knows its purpose. He spoke about how Cambridge Analytica used data to weigh or comprehend what they would use on social media to lure them to vote for a certain party which then was the Obama campaign before he became president. This theory was mostly about taking data by creating algorithms which is a procedure or set of guidelines that must be followed when performing calculations or other problem-solving procedures, particularly by a computer. However, in this case a practical example would be an individual liking, viewing, reading that about Obama and from there, the people who control the algorithm create anything to pop up on your feeds on social media that will make you admire Barack Obama by also checking what kind of a person you are. For instance, if you are an arty person the probability of you liking him is high because he is a democrat and democrats are open minded people, this is according to Psychology. It’s a Psychological circle, as mentioned above, you like, view or engage in something on social media and whoever operates the systems different social media platforms creates the same content for you or related content to what you have taken part in, this is why if you have interacted in anything that has sport you will after see countless content about sport to an extent that one will even believe things that they should not believe about themselves regarding whatever content that is. Furthermore, in the contemporary world, it has been evident in all life spheres that social media has replaced the face-to-face interactions with our friends, colleagues and family. People are always glued on their phones chasing algorithms that Christopher Wylie spoke about in his book. Shifting a bit from the Cambridge Analytica catastrophes, today the same theory is used to make sure that people are glued on social media and if they are not then life is boring, some even feel depressed because they don’t have any online people to entertain. Kaveri Subrahmanyam ,PhD, a developmental psychologist, professor at Cal State LA, and associate director of the Children’s Digital Media Center in Los Angeles says that these days social media presents countless risks and benefits, but teens tend to use social media to bully each other as much as another study has shown that social media has assisted a number of teens and young adults to creatively express themselves, however, the pivotal concept of this article is the fact that the people behind social media are doing by all means to convince and convert people into believing that no one believes in them or can comprehend them but social media through the algorithm tools that they have used to characterize them under using psychological lances. There are also more questions than answers when it comes to how social media affects the development of intimate relationships and developments of businesses. Does having a broad following as is common in social media lead to organic interactions than in real life? Or perhaps Is the support that one or businesses get on social media organic as online as the support gets offline? Doesn’t the affection one gets on social media affects one’s mind and end up depressed when they don’t receive the same interactions in real life? What is even real or not? the questions are endless. No one has full answers.