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Creeping on Google

16 May

Google ads have been creeping me out for a few months now. This is the one that came up while I was responding to a friend’s quips about silly work stuff. Really? Google concludes that we should head to Hong Kong to get away.  Or that wooden lockers might make End of Grade testing go more smoothly?  Maybe a VPN connection would help stop me from creeping on Google.  A few weeks ago, I sent a particularly bitchy email to my husband about his lack of attention to detail – nothing earth shattering, but a clear message about my discontent over a relatively minor thing and google hawked divorce lawyers from the side bar. That was the first time I really took any notice of the ads. I had to sit there for a moment and regain my composure. Had I been that nasty in my email? Did Google know something I didn’t? Do people who write direct emails about what pisses them off get divorced? Geez. I thought that was one of the things that makes my marriage strong – no festering resentments here. You disappoint me, piss me off, or make me happy, I tell you. No guessing games. It’s quick and to the point. We are very happily married; at least he agrees with me when I ask. And I did ask after the ads I got.

I stopped to think about the fact that someone has written a computer program to scan my text and aggregate a series of targeted marketing messages based on what I write. It’s creepy. It’s also brilliant. The fact that google in turn provides me with free email and other great tools makes it hard for me to complain too loudly about it. I just wonder about the accuracy of my digital profile. Maybe I should write more emails about my love of art or my culinary expertise or my desire to do good in the world.

Yesterday, I wrote an email to a friend about my job search – google offered plumbing school, an MBA program, and psychological counseling services. Maybe I should get some counseling about a new career path that promises to be crappy.