You are what you Google
Lord help you once the Internet thinks it knows what you want
I’m 42 years old and there is no shortage of evidence that I’m aging quickly. My diminished hearing, my need for reading specs and my newfound fondness for cardigan sweaters all point to a serious case of “middle agedness.” Between these things and my kids (“Hey, look at Dad’s bald spot!”) I don’t need any more reminders that AARP membership isn’t far off.
Now, in addition to the ample signs of my advancing age, the Internet is all of a sudden rubbing salt in the wound. Recently, I noticed that many of the web sites that I was visiting had something in common:
See a theme here? That’s right, the Internet has determined that I am prime candidate for a Jitterbug phone! Now, it’s true I do get up more often at night to go number one, but I can still work my iPhone just fine. I’m not yet ready for the bare bones, big numbered cell phone with a panic button on the back to use in case I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.
But the web clearly thinks I am.
But, really, how exactly did the Internet come to this conclusion about me? What is it about my surfing habits that set off alarm bells in the marketing department at Jitterbug HQ? It didn’t quite make sense.
Then I remembered: a couple of weeks back when I was writing a piece about the Apple Maps debacle, in which I mention Jitterbug, I Googled it, just to check that it still existed. That was it; one quick search and, seemingly, I will forever pay the price. It’s a good reminder that Big Brother - er, Big Advertising - is constantly watching.
But what can I do about it? Well, there are, as I see it, three viable options:
1. Reenable the Adblock extension in my browser - I disabled that at some point for reasons I can’t recall. See? My memory is fading, too.
2. Enable Do Not Track in my browsers - Although this may not really solve the problem.
3. Start Googling stuff that younger folks search for - Um, like what? Dating sites? My wife may not appreciate that.
In any case, I’d better do something fast, before the ‘net starts serving up ads for Depends.