Jennifer Golbeck, a Computer Scientist at the University of Maryland and Director of the Human – Computer Interaction Lab, explores how the internet has changed how behavior patterns are monitored in her TED video “The Curly Fry Conundrum: Why Social Media ‘Likes’ Say More Than You Might Think.”
Social media has enabled companies to collect personal data that can be used to predict behavior patterns. For example, a company can determine your interests and habits by what you “like” on Facebook. Algorithms can predict if you are a drug user, an alcoholic, pregnant, trusting of other people, young, old, healthy, or intelligent. These patterns have lead to an interesting correlation between intelligence and curly fries called the Curly Fry Conundrum.
The Curly Fry Conundrum study suggests that there is a strong correlation between intelligence and those who “like” curly fries on Facebook. Many users feel that their seemingly insignificant actions are being monitored to predict more specific traits. This opens a new opportunity for employers to use consumer information to monitor employees or job candidates without their knowledge.
It’s important to be aware of how much personal information you share online. You never know if companies are collecting your personal information to build an online profile about you, or who may be looking at your online profile one day.