When I logged onto the blog to post today, I noticed that the headline for the ads was "Catch a Cheating Spouse!". Absolutely a perfect fit for the (hopefully!) uplifting and encouraging things I try to write about and especially so if you consider it in light of my desire to be authentic (insert ironic and sarcastic tone here). This plunged Brian and I into a discussion about targeted advertising.
Just this evening, Brian was listening to a radio program on it during his commute home. The lady on NPR said that she looked at a pair of shoes online and this same pair of shoes followed her for the next two months in her online wanderings. And while many people are concerned about our lack of privacy and that amount of information sharing that goes on online, Seth said it best when he declared, "If I'm going to look at ads, it might as well be of stuff I like. It'd be depressing looking at ads for feminine products for two months for me."
However, I think it might become depressing trying to fight the impulse to buy the shoes for two long months. I am currently still resisting the ones I saw that I wrote about earlier this week but we'll just say it hasn't been easy. As a random update, the day after I wrote it, a coupon from that shoe store came in the mail and I had to run an errand to the store next door so I had to go see them in person since I was so close. Luckily, they didn't have my size and so my battle with contentment was not lost...yet. But, I'm sure it soon will be if they keep popping up in ads...
Amazon is an interesting place for target advertising since they allow you to check if a purchase is a gift so they don't put related items in your "quick picks". However, I'm still seeing all sorts of pirate paraphernalia since I purchased a book on Blackbeard more than a year and a half ago as a Christmas gift for Brian. It does not appear that this option is working too well at the moment because Blackbeard is still following me. This has created an interesting situation shopping for gifts on Amazon since so many similar things come up in the suggestions and so sadly, Brian usually gets hints as to the categories I have been perusing. And while I would consider this a downside to targeted ads, I think Brian thought it was the upside as it was all stuff he liked!