When Ads Follow You Home

8:00 AM


Has this ever happened to you? You are browsing through a site, you've done business with them or you simply go about your business and the next thing you know you see their ad beside your newsfeed in FaceBook or next to the video you are watching on YouTube. Or you are visiting some random site and you see the very same thing you were looking at hours ago being advertised to you. It's almost as if the website is stalking you and the scary thing is it is.

It's Business, Baby! 
It's big business, it's internet business and it's the price we pay for existing online. Big and small companies are putting hooks into your browser and traveling behind you like the spider whose web you walked through. At first, you may not notice it, but in the end it becomes a nuisance and what these big companies may or may not know is it puts some of their customers off.

For instance, I did some business with a domain registration company. Please note I said I DID business with them, I gave them my money. In my head that means I don't have to think about them for another year or so when I need to renew. Why do I have to see their ad while watching a YouTube video? And please, Amazon, I am a funny buyer. I buy when I need something or when I really want something. Be a dear and stop posting ads of things I only viewed in passing. It's annoying. If I didn't buy it then, I've already forgotten about it and don't need or want it.

Now I get it, it's all a numbers game. The more times they do it, the higher the probability of someone responding to it. I know the technology hasn't been developed to allow us who are not interested to bow out of this type of marketing but it doesn't mean I can't share my displeasure about it. It doesn't mean I won't rethink my overall use of the internet and it's offerings.

The Thin Line between Love and Hate
I love the internet, it provides me with income and it connects me to a world of people who I would not have met otherwise but sometimes, oh, sometimes, it makes me appreciate the world beyond the virtual connectivity. I appreciate the wide open spaces where no one is trying to sell me something or the other. The places where all the senses are used to ground one to this physical plane. Then I get the ping of my phone, the blip on my FaceBook and I dive back under like a great whale, plunging back into the virtual world. But why does it feel more like an addiction than a normal way of life?

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