Data Detox: Day One

Setting out on my Digital Detox Journey

Last week I was digging into the think pieces about Zuckerberg’s Congressional testimony, and I stumbled across this article from the New York Times. In it, Brian X. Chen describes the uncomfortable feelings he finds himself having once he downloads all the data Facebook (and other sites) have stockpiled about him. In half-amusement, half-horror, I posted the article on the FB myself with the caption “Every moment of Google/FB stalking, set in stone (or spreadsheets) for ALL OF TIME. I might have to completely change my identity and start over.”

In response, my super smart friend @seecantrill  turned me on the the Data Detox

The Data Detox Kit was produced for the Glass Room London in 2017, curated by Tactical Technology Collective and presented by Mozilla. It was also produced as a printed kit.

And since my super smart friend was putting herself and her data detox on the interwebs, I thought…I should, too! So here we go…Day One.

First, I popped open a brand new, sparkling clean, chache and cookie free browser window for myself and started searching for myself. As far as information coming up, I saw what I expected–a giantic digital footprint that is largely associated with my professional work. In addition, there were sites that compiled public data that correctly had my age, the names of my family members, and all of my known addresses. That was pretty uncomfortable, but not something surprising for me.

Next up was an image search: look how cute I am! I annotated the image search in the image below–there are blue X’s through people who are not me and who I don’t know.  I also am not sure how the panda got in there, but I loved him and am tickled he is there (and I was too lazy to see how it got lumped together…maybe that’s for another day).  Penguins wearing sweaters would be better, of course, but we can’t have everything.

Zellner Image Search Digital Detox All The Zellners

My final challenge was to hit the Wayback Machine Internet Archive to find the footprint of Zellner past and came across my old Posterous!!!  Posterous was the bomb-dot-com back in 2008, but it died a quiet death in 2012. It turns out I’ve been sharing bad April National Poetry Month poems on the internet longer than I remembered:

Wayback Machine Challenge My Old Posterous.PNG

All in all, Day One was quick and easy. If I HAD found images that I regretted of myself, the Data Detox plan gives suggestions for how to handle that–an action I didn’t find necessary at this time, but might be useful for some folks.

I spent probably 15 minutes on Day One and maybe 45 minutes writing this post, taking screenshots, and feeling nostalgic for Posterous. Look for my Day 2 recap sometime soon-ish.

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