Amazon, Facebook, and yes, even you Google. We need to talk.
Just because I once decided to check out corsets (upcoming formal event for which I couldn’t be bothered to diet), does not mean that I might therefore be interested in all manner of AARP approved ‘foundation’ garments. Nor does my one time search for motorcycle chaps mean that I now need to see all manner of leather gear (of all persuasions) every time I check my email.
Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed that anytime you’ve searched recently, you are bombarded by ads ‘especially tailored’ to your interests? Which means if you’re a random online shopper, you could be staring at ads for insoles on every single website for a week, or as I found myself last week, staring at Spanx ads and all manner of ‘skinnifiers’ every time I opened a browser.
What bothers me most isn’t that I’m reminded of all the random things that I look for and buy on line.. (running the gamete from the usual handbags and shoes to random items including dry shampoo and ear plugs).. its that every time someone looks over my shoulder in the office they can see exactly where my shopping interests lie. Which is embarrassing not least for the casual office mate who can’t help but notice that your interest in leather gear might be getting slightly out of control. It also made for an awkward interaction with my CEO last week when – during an online demo- he noticed the 30% off bra sale going on at Bare Necessities.
I get that ‘big data’ is where the future is at. Lord, knows I work for a company that does it and yes, on occasion its interesting to know that something I was considering buying is now on sale.. but do I really need to be bombarded by potential shopping interests every time I log on? The internet isn’t just for shopping and can’t I read the Huffington Post without needing to refill my shampoo collection. And don’t get me started on Amazon.
Yes, I bought 50 Shades of Grey when it came out.. (I didn’t know it was garbage and I was interested in the potential fruity contents) but this does not mean that from now on, my Amazon home page needs to offer up all manner of romantic trash, erotica and suggestive titles exclusively. I have bought other books Amazon. And just because I once pressed ‘Buy now’ on a particularly lonely Friday night, does not mitigate the other 137 books I have also purchased this year.
‘Other readers who purchased ’50 Shades of Grey’ also enjoyed ….’
Seriously Amazon? Thanks for letting me know what other trash trends I need to avoid and wow, some people really read a lot of erotica. And no, just because I made one mistake does not mean that I need to consider exploring the frightening world of soft core badly written mommy porn.
In fact Amazon, I’d be more inclined to shop if you maybe suggested some things that I don’t need to be reading.
‘You have purchased 43 chick lit novels Rachael, we would recommend that you prehaps try some mystery thrillers or science fictions novels’
‘Other readers who purchased 43 chick lit novels, also purchased cat litter and Meg Ryan DVDs. Get a life Rachael’
‘Seriously Rachael, stop with the ‘girl meets boy’ books. You now have over 200 books on your Kindle and not one history book. How about a biography of a former President?’
Now that’s a recommendation I could use. You might want to get on that Amazon.