The Search in Cyberspace

On the Internet, we type in the key words and click on a search engine before finding their top suggestions.   

Numerous search platforms have risen in as many previous years.  Is the process for individual users as direct and simple as going through manual directories, conversational checks with mates or walking around a suburban shopping strip?

Contemporary society may seem to enable things on a faster and more accessible basis, but what is the hidden price for users?  A key feature of daily life as we approach the iconic year of 2020 is the less need to physically be at the source of your products and services, whilst surrendering much privacy to the electronic channels that enable such convenient transactions.    Cyberspace increasingly dominates as the delivery channel, all as part of the overall picture of so called automated script and other artificial intelligence coming to every one of us in daily life experiences.   The information comes to us without us never having to get out of our seated position in front of a screen -  but that only operates if you have access to your wi-fi or phone coverage.

The dominating feature in cyberspace is the trail each of us leaves on every finger tap we make, let us call them "clicks" as a broad term of reference.   These clicks make it ridiculously easy to take us to images, data and knowledge we require or seek.  The trail of clicks, like any human idea or invention, can be misused.   The profile such clicks build of us, whether by waving a smart payment card, tap on web links or in exchange of messages, can be huge and yet most of us do not question the risks, implied and real, in developing such a trail of clicks.  

When we chat face to face in person with someone else  - and not utilising any smart machine  - the chances of the memory of such an encounter remains most likely only with the participants  - unless there is a roving drone or satellite over head taking photographs of our encounter.   

If you carry your smart phone with you whilst having a conversation, some party somewhere in the proverbial internet Cloud has noted where this conversation has taken place.    You may not fully realise that by having your smart phone beside you always, you have voluntarily enabled the most powerful tracking device to monitor your movement. Yet being easily located is useful when one is lost on a hiking trail, need a shared ride service or when individuals really wants to be known where they are.

Commerce finds accessibility to such personal profiles  of actual and potential customers a mine full of golden opportunity.   What irritates me is the commercial presumption that each of us will continue to behave the same in the future.   You would most likely have had the experience of being hassled through cyberspace communication channels to buy more of recent purchase.    We may also be offered unsolicited recommendations to acquire similar and comparable products or from different brands.   These so called artificial "intelligence" channels interact with us as if we do not a right to change our mind or want to explore new products or experiences.

My other pet dislike is the quick arrival of surveys questioning about my experience of a recent transaction or goods receipt.   This may be for relatively minor commercial transactions.   Even questions are asked by the courier company, apart from the party that sells the product.   This hard push of incessant request for feedback turns me off.   The feedback asked is generated by faceless software.

How are the rankings in search engines arranged when we look for answers through them?  Do the top web links that jump up at our face for attention really that good and popular?  Be cautious and beware that most things in search engines are not what they appear to be.   Those suggested web links at the top of the page can range from advertisement supported matters to dodgy information in relation to what you want.   The key words you choose to write and click are important for the search logic utilised by different search engines can vary.   At times, there is an over load of suggested web links.    Some web links that come up front at the top  do so due to the number of hits, but again be wary of such a measure.    Do be cautious to only click on valid websites that answer your query, especially in internet banking,  for search engines are one source of also leading us to fictitious and dubious links.    When in doubt, let it go and ignore such web links that send you vibes of fraud and low quality.   Look at the wording of the web link, the words chosen, whether they are from a foreign country and its over all feel.

Not under our personal control when using cyberspace is a trail and life of what is created, stored and deleted by us.   In real life, we draw our window blinds, shred our paper records and are discrete in what we tell strangers and casual friends.   On the internet, hackers and unauthorised parties are determined enough to uncover such trails about ourselves even if you had consciously deleted your log of search matters.   Each of us have to come to terms as to what the implications are what we have in cyberspace.    

Intrusive adverts or website invites pop up in unexpected moments when we use the internet.  Often, we should not surprised,  for the nature of such pop ups relate to something we have used before or searched in the past.   One of the more irritating things is that the operators out there know in which physical part of the Earth you are located.   Providers recommended to you seem to be localised in where they are. It is not amazing that there are providers which have invested huge sums in location enabled software or applications. 

Gone are the days when you bask in your own private glory when searching for knowledge - unless you still visit the local library and search for information amongst the book shelves.    There can be personal benefits in being able to go back to a recorded trail in cyberspace of what you have searched in the past ten  years.   The question you have to answer your self is whether the dangers and pitfalls are worth the convenience.