Thursday, October 1, 2009

Six Degrees of Creepy

Is anyone else creeped out by how things follow you around on the Internet? It seems like every page I go to pops up with an Overstock.com ad displaying the exact items I looked at on my last visit to their site. That's creepy.

"Hi Cari. How can I help you? Do you still want to buy that blue chair?" (clicking to another page) "Do you want the blue chair or the chocolate brown chair? I have both in stock right now and shipping is free." (frowning while closing the window and clicking onto a new site) "What about these drapes? They'll go great in your bedroom" (resisting the urge to scream hysterically).

Going online has become like a trip to Mathis Bros Furniture. You can't get two feet in the door without being accosted be a salesperson who will NOT leave you alone to celebrate your anniversary by trying out couches and picking out dining sets you'll never buy. Not that we would ever celebrate an anniversary like that. But if we did, at least it's better than my friends who celebrated their anniversary by going to SAMS Club and trying all the sample foods.

I used to believe the Internet was a place where you could be anonymous - a nameless face in the crowd. That's the old Internet, the old paradigm - a place to find information. Today's reality is that it's more like Kevin Bacon's six degrees of separation. It only takes a few searches or clicks to be connected in unexpected ways. The Web 2.0 paradigm is interactive, collaborative and personal.

I think that's cool...until I'm being stocked by advertisements. That's just weird.

While you're busy running from freaky advertisements, take some time to check out these blog posts from some of the blogs I creep...

  • A contributor to Midlife Bloggers shared some interesting thoughts on the reality of losing a job...
  • The Numbers Man, aka my husband, has something to say about starting your own business...
  • Some nice writing from a newby MD...

2 comments:

Stephen said...

My $.02: It's all about the cookies. Make sure your browser is set to not accept 3rd-party cookies (I mean, they'd be totally stale by the third party anyway!). I also use three browsers - Firefox for the important stuff like online banking, Chrome for social stuff like Facebook or Blogger, and Safari for general anonymous browsing, news, research, etc. And, never let anything save your password(s) and if it asks you to turn on "auto-complete", remember Nancy Reagan and just say no. :-)

Cari said...

Good info. Thanks!I didn't think about Overstock.com and others forcing cookies on us unsuspecting party-goers. If I'd wanted a cookie I would have asked for it!