We become benumbed and resigned to it.
Around 2011, it dawned on me that things I mentioned in personal emails, and the objects of my searches, would crop up in online advertisements. First I was mystified, then stupefied. My online private activity was spied upon!
Today, the irony of juxtaposing a word such as “private” with “online” needs no comment.
I haven’t stopped using Gmail, or Googling, or shopping on Amazon, or watching YouTube clips. I do it more than ever. It’s disingenuous to rant about targeted advertising while
succumbing daily to it. But it hasn’t stopped being creepy.
No sentient human being likes ads. They stuff our mailboxes, robocall our phones, clutter our media, spew signage, disfigure roadways, and get in the way of our amusements. We skip them joyfully given the chance. The ruse of advertisers has always been to give us something we like, so we’ll put up with their attacks.
There’s no irony in juxtaposing any of the following adjectives with “targeted advertising”: “Pervasive.” “Stealthy.” “Triumphant.”
(Copyright 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All rights reserved.)