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Don’t believe the hype. You’re the customer, whether you pay directly or by seeing ads. Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: “On the internet, if you’re not paying for something, then you’re not the customer. You’re the product.”
This meme, and its various permutations, are meant to to convey that if you’re not shelling out direct cash for a service, that you should expect to be used by that service. Perhaps. But there are many many things wrong with it. In fact, it’s wrong in almost every way.
You are the customer. You can do things no “product” can do.
Think about the things you can do that a “product” can’t do:
- You can stop using the service. You can deny the company that provides it the revenue you represent. What product ever abandoned its parent company?
- You can look around for competitive offerings, and choose one of those. Again, no ‘product’ can do this.