Fightback: Dystopian utopia – has social media gone too far?

Dystopian utopia?

Has social media made automatons of us all?  Are we really supposed to blindly accept what Mr Facebook & co dish out to us?  They hooked us in so that we can’t go more than an hour or so without checking our online status – and sharing every minutiae of our life with those in our world and beyond.

This was a very clever tactic by Mr Facebook.  As he now knows exactly what we covet, and can target his paid for advertising clients accordingly.  There can’t be any organisation that knows as much about us as does Mr Facebook and his motley crew.  Heck, not even the tax man knows as much as Mr Facebook!

What we have now is decidedly Utopian-esk,  big brother if you like.  It is not such a leap of the imagination to consider that in the wrong hands, there is an awful lot of personal information out there on the web from which to exert control.

It has to be said that I am a prolific poster online.  Both with Mr Facebook and with Master Twitter.  That said, there are times when I go to ground for 3-6 months, and ne’re a peep, never mind a tweet, is heard from me.

The world is just a click away, at the behest of our fingertips

I do use online exposure in a number of ways:

  • pictures of my dog
  • stories of my dog taking over my bed
  • stories of my dog pooping in the park
  • little ditties of insights that I want to share with the world
  • the occasional rant at the social injustices in the world

I also use online to promote my business interests.  Rather unsuccessfully I have to say.  The lure of the “do it my way – I will charge you mega-bucks to learn how to grow your groups and earn …. peanuts!” has been something that I have had to learn to ignore.

It seems, you see, that you can’t just post about any old drivel.  It has to be drivel that the masses want to hear about.  Now, you and I may enjoy a little bit of high brow philosophising now and then – but for the popular masses, that is a huge turn off.

I will though, give Mr Facebook props for keeping me connected with peeps who have the same, or similar chronic long term health condition that I have.  The support I have gotten from one group in particular has pulled me through some dark days.

Now, one would assume that the real people in my real world would be the ones to support me with this; not so much!  Heck, most of my family couldn’t say a cursory “well done” when I achieved a First in my Psychology degree as a mature student!!  But hey, let’s not go there – the bitterness has left me.  Almost …ahem.  Sniff.

Indeed, Facebook connectedness, has also allowed me to keep in touch with family scattered around the UK, and with friends that live the other side of the globe.

Out of control monster or useful tool?

Ok, I digress.  Let me bring this back to the matter in hand.  What was that again?  Oh yes!  Mr Facebook & co – and whether they have too much influence on our lives.

Certainly, the online has been a revelation.  Indeed, I think my undergrad and post-grad studies were that much easier because I could research for pertinent articles online; not solely restricted to the dusty shelves of the university library.  (The library was one of my favourite places as it happens!).

We are customers, patrons, whatever you will – not automatons to do your bidding, Mr Facebook.  So when a patron has something to say, perhaps you might demonstrate some common courtesy and respond.

Has Mark Zuckerberg been replaced by a bot?

I am beginning to think that Mr Zuckerberg no longer exists.  That he has been replaced by bots and they are holding him prisoner on a remote desert island in the pacific along with Mrs Zuckerberg and the rest of their family.  Perhaps Captain Lindegaard can track him down in his very big ship, and ask him ever so politely to to something about the literally hundreds of profiles on #Facebook that are misappropriating his image and his identity.  You will know of Captain Lindegaard, if you have been reading me from the beginning (is it really only a week ago that I started this quest??).

The cute Dane effect

For those of you who have only just stumbled across this blog today, I beseech you to read the back catalogue of posts.  Captain Lindegaard, is, actually, the quite cute Dane who is the subject of amorous attentions of way too many women; who quite simply think that he has duped them.

I have seen posts on his page, lamenting about ‘why he would hurt them so bad when he was happily married’?  The answer is, dear reader, it was not him.  Even a good looking Dane with a ship’s company can’t be in 100s of places at once!  And why would he?  As stated – he is happily married, and not signed up to ANY dating sites.  Nor does he have multiple profiles on Facebook with multiple variations on his name.   (Personally, I think there should be a profile called Captain Dreamy ….. oh sorry, ahem … moving on ….

Captain Thomas Lindegaard does Duckface

So, what is it about this man that has created such a swell of online swooning?  Ok, so he is cute – at least, many of his pictures are.  Not all … but perhaps that is one of the reasons that the fakes who use his images are so successful.  The majority of them are notable for being – well, ordinary.  (Sorry Captain Lindegaard .. blush).

Certainly, there is a lot of information about his life – at least, his work life, which makes it extremely easy to assume his persona and create a very plausible dupe.  I did wonder myself what all the fuss was about – not because I don’t believe he is cute (because I do) but because he has a very small following on Facebook.  Eventually, I checked him out on Instagram.  On that platform, he has a very respectable following of 24.5k.  I think that it is this following that has made him a mark for the scammers.  With such a following, he clearly has kerb appeal.

Mea culpa?

So, a question that I ask you to consider: does Captain Lindegaard bare any responsibility for the duping and suckering in of innocent love-seekers?  In my opinion the answer to that question is a resounding no.

Captain Lindegaard, or “Real-Thomas” as he is affectionately referred to in my earlier blogs, is simply abiding by the rules and expectations created by Mr Facebook and his motley crew of pirates .. I mean, marketeers.  He is sharing information about his life and work that he is not only proud of, but that he believes (quite rightly it would seem), that other people would be interested to learn about.  In a podcast that is listed both on his Facebook page, and I believe Instagram (I’m not sure as I have banned myself from trawling through his personal (yet public) profiles – his life’s mission, mariner-focused at any rate – is to bring sea and shore closer together.

Well, he has certainly done that when you consider how many land-locked women are pining after him!  Just not in a way that he could have possibly conceived.  (I do hope that the majority of the 24.5k following are not virtually-cuckolded women…).

Indeed, I believe most strongly that the responsibility lies with Mr Facebook, and the other social media giants that would have us believe that they serve us – and that we can’t live without them.  Of course we can.  There are more platforms than Facebook for us to share and enjoy.

So, to close, why am I so het up at the moment about Mr Facebook?  Quite simply, because – they are a platform that will allow nudity, terrorism, sexualised images to be posted on Facebook and yet ban nursing mothers and breast-cancer survivors.

More than this, they have a responsibility to protect our data that they so avidly bid us to share on their platform.  It is not for Captain Lindegaard, nor I, or anyone else for that matter – to have to spend hours trying to make Facebook a safer place for its patrons.

That Mr Facebook, is your job.

Later, dear reader, I hope you read with me again.  If anything I have written here resonates with you, please, comment, like and share to spread the message far and wide.

Thank you!

Carol xOxO

Forde Thomas NiklasAs ever, images of Captain Thomas Lindegaard are used with his kind permission.  Copyright remains with him and these should not be used for any reason without his explicit consent.

If you are approached on any site from a profile using images of this man (Captain Thomas Lindegaard), please be aware that there is a Tsunami of fake profiles out there using his images.

If you are approached by anyone using his images, please report this to Captain Lindegaard via Messenger on Facebook @CaptainThomasLindegaard.  You can also check out his Fake Alert page on Facebook by clicking the link.



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