Most of us have become more cautious when using the Internet, for good reason. Lots of people are eager to take advantage and will do so with no apparent damage to their consciences. Most troubling is loss of privacy. One cannot browse, show interest in something, or make an online purchase without triggering a flurry of responses aimed directly at one’s computer.
My latest example of this occurred earlier this week. A few days ago, I placed an order online with a company I hadn’t done business with before. That same day, and for several days to follow, every time I opened social media, my computer was bombarded with slick ads for the same kind of service I had just purchased. And they just kept coming in droves. As I scrolled down, these useless ads appeared at a rate of a fresh one to each screen. I stopped counting at eight of them. There were more, but I had had enough.
Why these ads? I had already made my decision, completed my purchase. I was no longer in the market for another of the same.
I am frustrated by the knowledge that someone somewhere knew exactly what I had bought the moment I had done it and immediately launched a campaign to influence me to make further purchases of similar products or services. What I choose to buy, or simply glance at casually, is no one else’s business, in my view. Accessing a social media web site should not mean that I am tacitly granting permission to invade my privacy and act on it by targeting me with ads or other uninvited material.
This trend is dangerous and should be reversed.