Douglas Rushkoff (SHS class of '79) was recently interviewed by the popular tech website Mashable to discuss his new book "Program or Be Programmed", which examines the effect that the internet and social media have on the people who use it.
In the interview, Douglas points out that people are often unaware of the business dynamics behind the sites that they regularly use. Facebook, for example, makes money from advertisers instead of from users, the advertisers are the customers and users are actually the product. Douglas doesn't call for people to stop using online services, but thinks its important that people realize their actual relationship with other people and corporations online.
Douglas has established himself as one of the nation's most important media critics, winning the prestigious Marshall McLuhan Award for his 1996 book "Coercion", and acting as a consultant to the UN, the US State Department, Sony and others. He's also coined a number of phrases that we now use on a regular basis, such as social currency and viral media and has taught classes on media subversion at NYU. Go here to check out the whole interview.