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When Something is Free, You Are the Product

When Something is Free, You Are the Product

‘When Something is Free, you’re are the Product – Visual Storytelling Presentation


In today’s world, many services and products are offered for free. However, it’s crucial to understand that often, these “free” offerings come at a cost. This metaphor illustrates the hidden price behind free products and services.

Metaphor Interpretation

Person: Standing in front of a box labeled “Free,” thinking why it’s free. Boxes: Other boxes with humans inside, representing how they are the actual products being sold.

Example: Social Media Platforms

  • Free Service: Signing up for a social media platform at no cost.
  • Hidden Costs: Data Collection: Platform collects user data, including likes, shares, and interactions.
  • Targeted Ads: Data is used to target users with personalized advertisements.
  • User as Product: Advertisers pay the platform for access to user data.

Skills for Navigating Free Services

  • Critical Thinking: Question why something is free and what the hidden costs might be.
  • Awareness: Understand the implications of sharing personal data.
  • Informed Decisions: Make conscious choices about using free services.
  • Privacy Management: Use privacy settings and tools to protect personal information.
  • Data Literacy: Be aware of how data is collected, used, and sold.
  • Security Measures: Implement strong security practices to safeguard personal data.
  • Evaluating Trade-offs: Weigh the benefits of free services against potential privacy risks.

By recognizing the hidden costs behind free products and services, individuals can make more informed decisions and better protect their personal information.

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