Recently I used my Gmail account to write an e-mail that included the word “fee.” When I opened a reply to this e-mail, Google provided these helpful links in the sidebar:
Vet Fees »
College Fees »
Green Fees »
Lawyer Fees »
I wrote a short post on Facebook sharing my experience, and a friend commented, “Ya, it makes me want to “unplug!” Another wrote “creepy.”
Sometimes I feel the same way. However, I work as a freelancer and I, like many humans, have friends (and also actual physical friends). My life would start to go downhill quickly if I unplugged.
I’ve had my Gmail account for almost a year, and I’m sure Google has been trying to “help” me all along. I’ve just recognized it recently. Usually I prefer the convenience and capability of social media to help me get things done. I don’t mind companies using my data to try to make money, but the furious insistence of these ads does seem a little creepy.
As I worked on the first draft of this post, I wrote an e-mail to myself with the subject line, “Google’s intrusions into users’ privacy.’ The message read, “Please tell me how Google is monetizing users’ information.” Google helpfully suggested these links from the sidebar:
Google Gmail »
Google ADS Domains »
Google Google Apps »
Biometrics Privacy »
I started messing around with other key terms, and I got more suggestions. For example, I wrote myself an e-mail asking for advice on removing stains on my kitchen countertops. Here’s what I got:
Kitchen Countertop »
Concrete Floors »
Decorative Concrete »
Glass Stains »
“Glass stains” might have been a good link to click on. I didn’t, even though I genuinely need advice about countertop stains.
I am like the baby who refuses to eat anything, and Google is the inexperienced parent who desperately shoves anything and everything in my face.
I will not eat, and, unlike all other babies, I will not break down.