I often see people complaining about paying for their online apps. They point to another app that's free and wonder why they should have to pay for any app at all.
I'm always confused by these questions, because I assume most people know at this point:
No app is free.
You pay for these services – your social media apps, your games, your work tools, your browser platform, your fitness apps, education, shopping, finance, podcast, video apps – in exchange for your personal information.
You pay with:
Your email address
Your phone number
Your current location
Your eye and scrolling movements
Your financial information – Your credit score, your debts, salary assets and purchase history
Your personal files – Your text messages, audio messages, voice recordings, emails, photos & videos, contacts
Your lifestyle & preferences – where you go frequently, where you work, the places you like to eat, your gym, your hobbies, your religious beliefs, political opinions, sleeping patterns, the websites you visit.
Your dreams & desires – The vacation you want to take and where you want to go, the neighborhood you've been eyeing for your first home, whether you want kids or not, whether you long for love or have it.
Yourfears & anxieties – Your fear of hair loss, weight gain, aging, financial problems, health issues.
"Allow app to track your activity?"
It's the first question your app asks when you install it.
It doesn't even offer you the dignity of saying no.
You can only "ask the app not to track"
...and it may or may not, even then.
Your money is no longer your most valuable commodity.
It's no longer enough to sell you something based on the quality of the offering. They want to tap into your psyche, to understand what makes you tick. So they can sell that information to many other companies, who do indeed want your money.
They want you to check boxes and accept terms & conditions they know you'll never read. They want to show you an ad. They want to show it again. They want to text you a deal. They want to email you with an exclusive offer. They want to nudge and push and peek and prod their way into your head.
Your apps aren't free. You are paying for them a thousand times over.
Your apps aren't free, but you – and everything you hold near and dear – are free for the taking.