Profiling is a trending term when it comes to user data and information but what does it say about us when we use it in our everyday interactions? If we are not careful, what is big data could become small mindedness in quite another context. Just because you know someone doesn’t mean you understand someone – and we’d better be careful how we define the word targeting as we go about our lives.
It would be better if the facts that have been voluntarily provided be appreciated for the readiness with which they were shared. It would be only right to acknowledge the gesture as a handshake of trust – one that we must not abuse. It would be nice to train our minds to stop the innate process of constant verification and validation.
We all know that information about us is out there – it is in the public and social domain. But do we want to be profiled, clustered and judged basis data that is only a small sub-set of our multi-faceted selves? Would it even be an accurate assessment of our multi-dimensional personas? And yet, these are hard physical facts we often go by while we ignore the equally powerful soft emotional ones.
Profiling doesn’t have to be bad thing if it recognises and celebrates individual thumbprints – individual goals and dreams, hopes and aspirations. Can we consciously try to not build back stories for people based on our views – can we let the interaction reveal the person? That way we can engage at a deeper level and stop operating from the superficial.
A great way to begin, I think, would be to see how we can change from fact-checkers to story-seekers…