What we think is factual is often just our perception of a situation, or our best guess. Behavioral Scientists call this projection. It means to project one’s beliefs on a situation, or alter the definition of an issue to match one’s beliefs.
Here’s a simple example: Two neighbors happen upon their young male neighbor in an apartment building leaving his apartment with an attractive young woman. The first neighbor, a single, male, college student, interprets the scene as a one night stand and gives his neighbor a thumbs up. The second neighbor is a middle-aged woman who thinks to herself: “It’s about time he got married.” It turns out the man is an artist and met the woman in his art class and had her pose for him because he liked the challenge of drawing her curly hair. Both perceptions were wrong and probably never knew it.
Perception is something advertisers have tried to measure, even more so than reality. Because consumers make decisions based on perception, not reality. In a twist on this concept, Rolling Stone Magazine created a brilliant campaign that aimed to dispel the myth and sell the reality. It was 1985 and your typical Rolling Stone reader had changed but perceptions remained.
We are all victims of our perceptions. Think about our collective perception of the technology we use everyday.
We recently hit the streets to ask people what they loved about their smartphones, and what they hated. By far the most common first response was: “I love my phone, everything about it.” But when asked what they didn’t like about it they listed a number of complaints: “ads, malware, trackers, scam calls, short battery life…” I asked each of them: “So you don’t really love everything about your phone?” “I guess not,” was always the answer.
Nobody loves everything about their phone.
And when pressed a little harder, nearly all felt duped by Google and Facebook and their cell providers for taking their personal information, but said it was innocuous.
Then we showed them the reality.
“You know there are trackers on your phone, do you know how many and who they are?”
Most people answered: “A few, like ads and stuff.” That’s perception.
Then we opened up ClearOS Mobile’s ClearGM dashboard and showed them just how many trackers were blocked on my ClearPHONE, and also where they came from.
The results were priceless. “Wow! That’s a lot,” was the most common answer. Over 60 trackers can hit a phone when you go to a legitimate site like cnn.com or nytimes.com. Even more on USAToday.com. About 7 in 10 trackers are tagged with possibly containing “Adult Content.” or “Dangerous Malware.” That reality took everyone by surprise.
And that’s the problem. We have been living under this perception that the Internet is a safe place when we are going to legitimate sites. It’s not. It’s not just that the ads are annoying. It’s also the slowdown in performance when so many trackers are hitting your phone, and the high chance of malware being on your phone already (1 in 3 phones in the U.S. have malware).
Lastly, nearly 80% of school-aged children between the ages of 12 and 18 have inadvertently come across pornography while doing their homework. They weren’t even searching for it. Now there were a few people who said they didn’t care about the ready access to porn. One even said she didn’t care if her kids find it because: “They’re going to see it someday anyway.” But that’s not the norm.
The real problem here is that our perception has been that we are giving up a little bit of ourselves for convenience. The reality is that we are giving up far more than we think we are.
The last perception, the one we heard from everybody, was: “There really isn’t anything I can do about it. Ad blockers and parental controls don’t really work. I guess we just have to live with it.”
The reality is: We don’t have to live with it any longer. ClearPHONE blocks all unwanted content at the firmware and software level. That means YES, you can control and customize your Internet experience.
Make that reality, yours.