How Much Is Your Digital Identity Worth (to you)?
Because we know how much it is worth to the Tech Platforms that provide us with our digital identities. If you think that your Facebook account or your Google search or posting on Instagram are free - I really hope you don’t in 2021 - but if you still do think these services are free, well … Just remember that Facebook just hit $1 trillion in market capitalization with a total of 2.89 billion active users.
The common misconception is that these companies sell our data. Bur they don’t want the data.
They want our attention.
Companies are lining up to pay for our attention. On Google. On Facebook. You name it. How much your profile is worth to Facebook is public knowledge. Last year our profiles were worth 32 bucks a pop. Seeing as how the number goes up every year it’s probably more by now.
But Who Cares, Right?
Your profile is worth 32 bucks or so. Alright, so what? Right? I mean, what’s the big deal? They’re allowing us - giving us the privilege - of creating and consuming content. For free. Good for them for finding a way to stay in business.
Yeah, except that we’re giving away control of our Digital Identities.
And that means we’re not in control of our Digital Experiences.
We don’t get to make Product Development decisions. We don’t get to decide how the algorithm works. We don’t get to be involved in how the platform behaves and feels. We don’t get to decide what kind of content we see. We don’t even get to see what content we see in our very own feed.
These companies that control our Digital Identities control our Digital Experiences too. That’s the end game. To design how we live life online. And if they get to decide that, it might turn out amazing for the shareholders but not so great for the rest of us.
Facebook knows Instagram is toxic for teen girls and they actually design for that outcome.
Let’s please pause for a moment to really think about that.
They know that their technology harms teen girls and they actually use that information to harm the girls even more. Because getting our girls to harm themselves sells.
The Wall Street Journal revealed documents from Facebook that clearly outline how Instagram affects our children, most especially teen girls. Wait for it - so with that information, they’re building an Instagram for kids app. Not kidding.
The documents show that Facebook did internal research showing that between 6 and 13% of teens who reported suicidal thoughts traced it to Instagram. A third of teen girls said they felt bad about their bodies because of Instagram. More than 40% of the users on Instagram are 22 years old or younger.
Parents - are we hearing this?
Dads, moms - what do we do about it?
Yeah, What Do We Do About It?
The good news is that some are actually doing something about this mess.
U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) announced a probe into Facebook and their intentions are clear:
“When given the opportunity to come clean to us about their knowledge of Instagram’s impact on young users, Facebook provided evasive answers that were misleading and covered up clear evidence of significant harm.”
Perhaps the senators’ quote that best summarizes the state of the current digital landscape is this:
“It is clear that Facebook is incapable of holding itself accountable.”
Another one of our favorite examples of courageous leaders standing up for our Digital Rights is the team at Brave, makers of our absolute favorite browser. They created a token called the Basic Attention Token (BAT) that allows you to control who gets access to your attention - and who doesn’t. Also, you get to earn when you want to literally give your attention to something that is of interest to you.
There’s others who are raising awareness of how our digital identities are being used. The Social Dilemma movie raises some important questions that we should all do well to ponder. By the way, notice how the founders of some of these powerful social media companies do not, I repeat, do not allow their own children to use the platforms they created?
Think about that.
Introducing Carmel Decentralized Identities
Here’s what we’re doing about it.
Some of you are aware that we’ve been working for a few years on a solution that allows us to create new opportunities for humanity using blockchain technology.
This is not your typical Agile or Lean Startup that iterates and tries different approaches until it just works. We’re inventing things that cannot be easily put into words and explained. That means it all requires a different and more arduous approach.
That different and arduous approach has led us to this moment in time when we couldn’t be more excited about revealing what we have been working on.
We’re building a way for us to take back control of our Digital Identities.
First and foremost.
With this newly acquired superpower we will be able to experience the Web in new profound ways. It’s ridiculous that owing our own Digital Identities is akin to a superpower, but it truly is. We don’t have that superpower right now. But we should.
Owning our Digital Identity is our most basic and most important Digital Right.
We’ve been working hard to make the dream of Digital Identities a reality. Not just digital but decentralized as well. Meaning, the identities are not managed by a central server somewhere but are secured on a Public Blockchain. The power of a Public Blockchain is revolutionary and we’re still learning new ways to leverage that immense potential of complete decentralization. You’ve heard of cryptocurrencies and NFTs but what Blockchain Technology can accomplish for humanity goes beyond what we can possibly imagine today.
One of the most remarkable applications of Blockchain Technology is the ability to store our identities in a way that no one but us and us alone can control them.
Your Carmel ID Is Your Access Key To The Carmel Universe
With your very own Carmel ID you will be able to participate in the Carmel Ecosystem as a Publisher, Mentor or Apprentice and you will collaborate with others to build new Digital Experiences. Your Carmel ID is your personal access key to the world of Decentralized Development (DeDev).
As a Carmel Publisher you have a place where you can unleash your creativity and publish content like never before, leveraging Web3 technology and a new way of hosting content in a decentralized way. With Carmel, as a Web Publisher, you get to build your very own Custom Web3 Platform where you and your community have 100% ownership of your data and all the content you publish.
We’re calling Professional Software Developers to join us as Carmel Mentors and contribute Tech Training as Carmel Challenges and reusable Open Source code as Carmel Elements. Earn Carmel Experience Points and Reputation Badges for contributing and earn Carmel Rewards based on your activity.
The heart of Carmel is the Carmel Apprenticeship Program where anyone, absolutely anyone, desiring to start their journey as a Software Developer, can join and become a Carmel Apprentice. That means you get to acquire skills by taking Carmel Challenges developed by our Mentors and earn Carmel Experience Points as well as Skills Badges based on your achievements. What’s more, you can apply to Jobs and earn Rewards.
Carmel IDs are not restricted to the Publishers, Mentors or Apprentices. Anyone can get their free Carmel ID and use it to login to Carmel Sites and Carmel Apps built on the Carmel Platform.
Getting Your Carmel ID
Stay tuned for the Official Announcement this week on how to go about creating your Carmel ID. You don’t need a Blockchain account, or any technical knowledge whatsoever. All you need to do is Download Carmel and follow the instructions on screen. You will be up and running with your Carmel ID in less than a minute.
Oh, one more thing.
We’re launching our very own Carmel Shields NFT Collection where the holders will gain privileged access rights in Carmel, both in the Community and in the Product itself. If you hold a Carmel Shield you will be able to connect it to your Carmel ID and:
- build your own Carmel sub-community as a Community Ambassador and Early Adopter
- become a member of the Carmel Council, where you participate in key governance decisions
- benefit from early product releases, premium perks and community giveaways
If you don’t know what an NFT is - this is your opportunity to get introduced to the new exciting world of NFTs. Join Us To Become A Carmel Shields NFT Owner and find out more by connecting with others in the community.
So What Are You Going To Do About It?
It’s crystal clear the trillion dollar platforms out there don't have our children’s future in mind when designing their current and future Digital Products.
The question is - with our children’s future at stake - what are we going to do about it as parents?
We’re building Carmel especially for us Dads out there willing to roll up our sleeves and do something about it. Get involved to get your Carmel ID and let’s get you equipped with the skills you need to do something about it.
Also, get your Carmel Shield NFT and become a key member of the governing community that will decide what we work on, what kind of content we allow on our platform and what kind of future digital experiences we want to build for our children and our children’s children.
Let’s do it, DeDev Dads.
We know what we’re fighting for. Nothing is more precious than our children’s future.
PS. Definitely share this with your Dad friends and let's make this happen together.