My old economics professor used to say “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” A wise adage, it means that should you find yourself receiving something for free, you likely want to read the fine print. Lately, I have grown more convinced that we should change this adage to appeal to a more modern audience by saying something like “There’s no such thing as a free Instagram filter.” In the same way that someone buying you a free lunch is likely hoping to get something out of you later, Instagram is constantly giving us free filters for seemingly nothing in return. Unfortunately, they do want something and for most of us, we’ve already given it.
Which brings us to our pros and cons list of the day: willingly giving up your facial recognition rights to find out which Disney character you are. Let’s get started.
Pro: They already have all of your data anyways, so what’s one more thing to add to that list? If you don’t think that Facebook already knows everything about you, including your deepest and darkest personal secrets, you are living in a world of naivety my friend.
Con: Instagram will sell your face to companies around the globe for a quick buck. Imagine you are walking down the street and you come across a billboard with a picture of someone who looks just like you, but with a slightly different face. The face looks at you and says “Buy Cola.” You immediately trust the face because it’s you and rush to the store to buy cola. Soon, every ad is you telling yourself to buy all sorts of things. All because you wanted to know if you are more Belle than Ariel.
Pro: You got the Genie from Aladdin. Objectively the best possible response, you would trade it all again for the same result. Make sure and save that video to your photos, it will be the only thing to comfort you when this all comes crashing down.
Con: You got Olaf from Frozen. A lovable character, sure, but worth selling your face to the highest bidder? Probably not.
Pro: By giving Instagram something so personal, you are establishing a trusting relationship that they would never ever exploit. The best way to make fast friends, with both humans and mega-corporations alike, is to give them something they would have to be an absolute monster to exploit. This is why I tell everyone I meet my worst secrets by my third interaction with them. If they tell someone else, I know I can’t trust them and don’t need to invest more time with them. Same goes for Instagram.
Con: You have no idea why they are collecting facial recognition software or what they are planning to do with it. I mean, obviously they are doing it to make money, but think past that. You’ve seen what’s happening in China, right? If you don’t think that our government will soon be using facial recognition to “solve crimes,” you probably shouldn’t have any social media whatsoever.
Which one wins? Well, that’s up to you. Unless of course you already did it, in which case this is a moot point.