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How many times have you filled out a survey or replied to a phone survey rated an app because a company asked you to?  I refuse on the grounds that my doing so helps companies and does not help me.  They have employees that they pay to do their work.  I may have paid them for a product or a service.  My money should be enough for whatever it was that I bought.  I don't need to spend my time helping them do market research, or to help them sell more apps or whatever it happens to be.

Being asked irritates me, and I take pleasure in not replying or hanging up on the survey people -- especially when they aren't even people, but some sort of robo-phone-surveyer.  Evidently I am not alone.  An article in Business Insider calls it 'logical labor' and argues that people should stop doing it.

In fact the author goes further to say we shouldn't have to read privacy agreements, reset passwords, or update firmware on hardware devices.  I disagree about those things.  Let's face it.  Facebook is a privacy nightmare.  Its only purpose is to get people to share personal thoughts, pictures, videos, likes... so if you are going to use something like Facebook you should know what you are getting into and if you don't like it, don't use it.  But if you do like it but are wary of your personal information getting out there it doesn't seem to me to be unreasonable that you should learn how to use privacy settings.  If they are sufficient for your comfort level, by all means, start sharing.  If not, don't use it.

Updating firmware doesn't especially help the manufacturer of your devices.  It should help you, though, as it will make your device more secure, or even more featured in some cases.  It just makes sense that we would want the latest router update, for instance, because routers are how we connect to the Internet, and therefore they are prime targets for hackers.  Security updates on our phones are the same.

Now, Microsoft has taken this to an extreme with all the Windows updates and 'Please leave your machine on for the next millennium while Windows updates', and rebooting when you thought you were about to save that Word document you just spent three hours typing.  My response was to stop using Windows.  There are alternatvies.  You don't have to use it.  (Disclaimer: I do use it on a small computer to do things that I need to do and can't do on my Mac.  But my case is unusual.  For most people it wouldn't be an issue.  At least I can do actual work on the Mac instead of staring at the unusable screen while Windows is updating.

Companies like target offer you a chance at winning a gift card if you fill out their survey.  'Chance' is the bad part of that.  If I am going to do something to help Target with its market research I want the certainty of a gift card commensurate with what I think my time is worth.

These days it just seems to be accepted that we will rate products we have paid for, write reviews, fill out surveys... Don't unless you feel that multi-billion dollar companies (and even multi-thousand dollar companies deserve charity from you.  If you feel they do, by all means help them out.  But if not, your time is better spent making money for yourself, or just doing anything you actually want to do.  You're not obligated to help them, so don't feel bad about saying no.

If you liked this article, please rate it five stars!  (No, really, don't.)

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