In reading an old-ish article about Instagram making shopping easier, I learned a new term – digital resignation. Rather than poorly summarise the article, I’ll quote the last two paragraphs here:
[Digital] resignation can “discourage the larger or collective types of action that might actually have substantial consequences.” That’s exactly the problem: Instagram might be willing to hand me the keys to cultural approval, but the algorithm doesn’t dole them out equally. Instagram will only shop for me because I’m the type of person corporations already consider important. People who are thought of as good consumers—usually white and affluent—will have a kinder, gentler experience with surveillance than people whose influence or opportunities get curbed.
Being resigned to the fringe benefits of my situation, however convenient, encourages me to accept the unequal playing field. “This idea of separating and segmenting audiences is inherently a statement of power,” Draper says. “Who matters and who is valuable?”Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, March 19, 2019.
This cuts to the heart of handing over power to unaccountable entities. To the danger of of even a reluctant acceptance of an apparent convenience that is unequally shared.