First of all let me start by saying that Social Networks ARE for the intended purpose that you the USER thinks they are. For people around the World to interact on-line either with similar likes, dislikes or the opposite, to create debate in on topics of interest or dissent.
So on the surface they do what is advertised. But the creators of the sites have other motives altogether.
One of the hardest and most expensive elements of creating a web presence that entices users to it is unique content. It’s also the most important factor for search engines when determining how important any given site is to the internet.
Getting unique content requires that humans add that content. Google is smart enough to know when a machine is adding content or even several machines based on their IP addresses. But when the content is added from millions of computers, phones, tablets or other input devices, Google knows that too. And it gives that added content more weight in terms of value.
Google also knows when you copy & paste information. Sites made of this kind of content is given less weight in importance.
The overall effect is that site owners/creators are given a gift by their users. They don’t have to create ANY content. You’ve done all the work for them.
Another benefit to them that you’ll never see is who, what, where, when & why you are adding that content.
That is gold to marketing and advertising companies. So the sites sell that data to them for the purpose of putting the right ads in your face everywhere you go on the internet. It’s done in the background and unbeknownst to the average user.
If you are a 20 year old female who chats about just coming home from a Beyonce concert at 2 A.M. in the morning, it tells them your age, you like music like Beyonce’s, that you’re up late at night, etc.
Now the automated ad servers know to show you her and similar musicians records & where you can buy them right now, maybe clothing sites for young ladies, possibly food delivery ads, because it’s 2 A.M. Steaming content music providers, sites that stream concert videos for a fee and pretty much anything else related.
They know exactly what to show you at that specific moment in time. And many times the user will buy from an ad because they are influenced and motivated by those ads and the opportunity for you to buy right now is strong.
So on the surface, you are getting what you expect. Social interaction on a global scale to disseminate your personal feelings, experiences, things, places to millions of others for either the acceptance or rejection of your preferences.
The site owners have millions or even billions of unpaid employees, providing valuable site content and even the more valuable data to sell you goods and services.
So now when you share your details, just know that it’s you that are feeding the internet with enough info to sell you everything you love because you told them exactly how to do it.