Today I am going to see Star Wars, and I can take my phone with me and check in, so people know that I am there, and where I am seeing the movie, and when I saw it. Data is sent to the Facebook Corporation where they now will associate me with Star Wars, and then will market Star Wars products on my Facebook later.
Daily, my email box is full of messages that are from blogs I like, places I’ve bought products from, and sales flyers that I was forced to sign up for in order to look at the products on their website in the first place. I maybe still get one or two emails a week from people I know personally.
When I shop on the internet, what I browse is saved, and later it shows up on my Kindle, so I know that all those websites look at my history, and see what I’ve seen, and then it is shared, so I could be marketed to.
“Hey, look Jen, isn’t that the Lemur Onesie you looked at on Amazon with your Mom? Don’t you want to buy it? Just click here while you are reading updates from your friends! It’s so easy. We want to make it easy for you to spend your money!”
If my husband paid more attention to my Facebook page, he might have seen the exact product he is getting for Christmas right there beside a post about where one of my friends went to lunch. He opted out of the Facebook craze and keeps a tight hold on his presence on the internet. I’ve given up that option because I want to sell some novels on Amazon next year, and I need to work the system to gain readers because that is the world I live in now.
So basically, as a person born in the 1970’s, I can get a bit creeped out by what is called social media, but what is in reality, marketing media. It’s like having a really know-it-all, blabbermouth friend that you’ve accepted will eventually reveal everything they know about you to the next person they meet. At first, I was shocked that so much of my info was out there, tangled in the web. Then I was appalled that it was being used to target sell products to me. When I learned just how many millions of people my blabbermouth friend had told that I might want a Lemur Onesie, even my bedside companion Kindle knew, I realized that it was too big and too late to stop the marketing machine now.
The teens of today probably check in and shop and see the advertisements and think that it is cool that their phones and tablets and TVs know what they want to buy, and remember what they watch, and might want to watch in the future. After all, it is just marketing. It’s innocuous isn’t it? Well, maybe the marketing machine is, but I think the blabbermouth friend might cause some situations that could range from awkward to serious.
So in the end, I’m blogging my thoughts to my blabbermouth friend and hoping it gets me more readers, so that next year I can sell some books and maybe make enough money to put up a fence in the backyard and keep the neighborhood kids from playing, fighting, and sledding back there.