You Are The Product

scream

How many times have we read that lately? I actually read it a long time ago and it made a lot of sense. Who the hell gives away anything for free? We always knew our eyeballs were being sold to advertisers, or we should have known. And of course it isn’t only Facebook ~ insurance companies, credit bureaus, Google, etc. all have your data. Sometimes you’re the product even when you pay for the privilege, like on Match dot com. Isn’t that a kick?

Several years ago I was searching for a fun Google map I had created of all the places I’d lived and traveled to, maybe a couple years prior to that. I was just poking around, as you do, wondering if it was gone forever, when I blundered into my total location history since the beginning of time. Whoa, what? I thought I’d deleted all that! I had a big sad as I emotionally revisited the restaurants and hotels I’d gone to with the man who broke my heart… and then I deleted my location history permanently up to that point. Well, I think it was permanent. Who knows? No biggie, except I don’t want to see all that ever again. I know the gobblement and Google and Russia and some creatures on another planet have it. Whatevs.

Oh, I found the fun map. Whoopee.

Some peeps on the Book of Face used an ad blocker, which I’m sure was very clever. I never bothered with that. But it turns out FB was still able to gather gobs of data from your phone logs and your friends’ profiles too. You could be locked up tight, but they could still sell you to people based on stuff your friends had public. Plus anything you “liked” was up for grabs to create a shadow profile of you to package and sell. One of my friends said she liked incorrect things to throw THEM off the scent. Maybe that helps. I have to say that my ads were pretty inaccurate as is. I didn’t hide my true self, and yet I was shown very few tempting ads all those years ~ where were the adorable kitty tee shirts, the romance novel 4-packs, the c00kie cutters, the stitchery stuffs? I saw loads of ads for real estate and spa trips, things I could never afford. I’m assuming they, whoever THEY are, figured anyone in Orange County must be wealthy. Wrong!

I’m not going to bother linking to the scary articles that tell us how much FB and Google know about us because we’ve all read them in the past week. Plus you can easily find them yourself if you haven’t. For me, though, FB was the least necessary of the bunch and the easiest to jettison (along with Messenger and Instagram). And yes, I’m going to keep talking about it as much as I want to, pffft. I do miss some of the interaction with FB peeps, but I accept that’s the price I pay for reclaiming a huge chunk of my free time.

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I watched an interesting movie on Prime yesterday called Paperback, kind of a writers’ movie and also a movie for the romance-cynical. No spoilers just a rec!

6 responses to “You Are The Product

  1. I love the map! And here I thought my 17 moves were excessive.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a map of all the Bronx bars that existed when I grew up there. Think FB is trying to harvest that? I’d be devastated. It’s in my garage, so it’s probably secure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Doo doo doo doo… sounds like a Twilight Zone ep…

      Like

    • LOL. Sounds more like something not FB but the FBI would be interested in. Is it mounted on the back wall? Do you have various locations connected with different colored yarn?
      Or maybe I’ve just watched one too many episodes of Blacklist.

      Like

      • When you grow up in the Bronx, at some point you will have drunknin just about every bar there and thrown up in half of them. You know how an old song can come on the radio and bring you back to a particular time in your life? It’s like that with Bronx bars. You see it’s name and suddenly the aroma of an old girlfriend’s perfume comes back to you. Or, more often, the smell of stale beer and the urinal cookie.

        Actually, though, the way I came to have this map is a more interesting story. To me, at least.

        Liked by 1 person

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