The New Digital Slave Trade

Slave Auction

Imagine if there was a system of owning, buying, and selling human beings of all ages and races to others who work hard to get these people to do everything they ask, and this system was going on today in every country in the would. Well such a system does exist and it’s part of the new digital world. Companies such as Google and Yahoo have led the way in knowing and owning everything about you except your physical self. Your address, browsing habits, job, friends, likes, and dislikes are all collected and shackled onto ever growing databases. Everything that pretty much makes you YOU is possessed and for sale. Marketing companies and businesses use this information to give you a custom experience, which is nice-speak for hit you over and over with the advertising whip until you buy or use their goods and services.

Recently, Google announced that they are rolling out a program to deliver groceries you can order online. This seems like a swell,harmless, but odd branch out for such a major technology mega-power. But actually it is the perfect next step in making even better digital slaves available for the auction block. Now companies will not only know what major products you by online, but all of the small every week purchases which define your family and lifestyle. The art of reducing humans to a simple commodity of data to be brought and sold is reaching perfection.

Yet, just like in all slavery systems of the past, civilizations weigh plusses and minuses to justify maintaining the status quo. If making myself a digital slave provides me with convenience and benefits and targeted ads, is that so bad? To be honest, I don’t have a set answer on that just yet. But like most of the indecisive moments we all experience in the digital age, I am sure I will find myself on some marketer’s plantation being pursuaded in a deeply personal and specific way to form an opinion.


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