You are being watched


image from the internet

This seemingly innocent search app which helps all of us on a daily basis, is actually tracking our habits and selling them to companies.

Scrolling through Facebook, you may notice the ads that are presented are oddly tailored to you. Well, that’s because they are. About a week ago, I was trying to study for a quiz using the website Quizlet. While studying, I found it really hard to focus on the content on the flashcards. That’s because the ads directly next to the cards were the new line of Foot Joy 2020 shoes.

For most, this would not distract them, but for me, as a golfer who is inclined to see where companies move in their fashion, I was interested. And at this point, I found that ads are pissing us off. Whether it be on Quizlet, Facebook, Instagram, our information is being traded for corporations to make money off of our short attention span.

While swiping through Instagram a couple months ago, I found out something scary. Every about 5-10 posts there would be an ad. The scary part was I found that Instagram is tracking our attention span, kind of. If you stay looking at that ad for over three seconds, the bottom part of the ad will change colors offering a link to go to so one can buy that product. So, I conducted an experiment. I constantly received ads about a leather band to buy for my watch I wear every day. Each time I saw an ad relating to the watch band, I would stay and look at it for passed the three seconds of the color change. I found I not only had a large increase of watchbands that are leather, but I also found that Instagram was indeed tracking my attention span on certain types of advertisements, finding the style of ads that I am interested in. No longer does Instagram use videos to target me. They found out that I like a darker color of ads and that I am indeed interested in technology advancements.

Perfect example of the fist ad on my phone being a new tech company in a dark format

Each day it gets worse. They know almost everything about me. They know that I like fly fishing, hell, they know my style of clothing that I like. Just yesterday I received an ad for a fly-fishing apparel company that literally perfectly matched all of my interests perfectly. I can’t say that I was mad about this ad because I am for sure going to buy clothes from this company. Sadly, though, I clicked on this website through Instagram. So, Instagram now knows that they hit the nail on the head. I will continue to get ads from this company and I am scared of all of the other companies that are going to be coming in flying from the rafters.

The problem is, google is behind all of it. Instagram has been recently bought by Facebook. So, Instagram is the basically the Facebook of the next generations. Google is also directly tied with YouTube. So, any video you watch on that platform is a bit more information that Google is able to own, trade and sell for money. I think it can b agreed upon that these ads can be extremely annoying, especially when they make false assumptions. The way to solve this isn’t a pretty process. One can enter all of his platforms as a guest so he won’t be tracked. Or, when ad choices are available select not to be tracked. If you don’t want to be tracked, don’t go on the internet