One of the scariest things that echoes in the back of my mind while I’m surfing the internet is the idea that, whatever I do on whatever social media platform I come across, it’s more than likely that every click, every tab, every like is being monitored by some force out there in the world. There seems to be a rising joke in 2018 of every person being assigned to a certain FBI agent who watches them through the screen, creepy in some sense and yet… Almost comforting. Not to sound all Mulder or anything but, we are never truly alone anymore.
I digress, the monitoring of you or I on the internets is apparently being used for a bevy of useful things. Why, without it how would brands know how to market to your specific demographic? And how on earth would said social media platforms know when to send forth ads on to your dashboards at… Weirdly specific times. For instance, the other day I was in the mood to go online window shopping. Just harmlessly scrolling through absolutely adorable outfits I could never afford, I innocently sent a link to a tracksuit I found cute to a friend. Not even a few minutes later I check up on Facebook and find… A very similar tracksuit in an ad post just begging me to click it. Kind of odd, but this by far is not the worse case of internet monitoring though, as I was already shopping online. However, just a few short months ago there was a YouTube video that circulated of a man who, when wanting to test out the idea that his iPhone was listening in on him, struck up an in person conversation with his wife about needing cat food. (They did not have a cat). Not too long after that, on his feed was an advertisement encouraging him to buy a specific brand of cat food. This wasn’t even a case of someone monitoring his Internet use, they were actually listening in to him through his phone. I don’t want to delve too deep into this topic, because this could get pretty post apocalyptic/sci-fi Orwellian real fast, but it’s crazy to think that technology has come so far over the past few decades and yet be wasted on such… Capitalistic purposes.
What are some of your thoughts on this topic though? Any strange instances of being monitored a bit… Too closely?
(I suggest you listen to this song while reading that last statement)