A couple of weeks ago, I was considering whether to upgrade my digital camera, so I did what nearly everyone does, in these days of T’Internet; I went online, and googled and searched until I found what I reckoned would most suit my needs, and of course within my budget.
But over the next days, I discovered many images on my screen which are, to me, profoundly disturbing. We all have seen the many adverts which blink and wink back at you from your screens; mainly I ignore them, knowing that their presence is just an annoying inevitability. But, and I believe it is a big ‘BUT’, I really dislike adverts targeted at me because of prior searches. Suddenly I saw advert after advert telling me of one product only, and that was of course digital cameras!
I pride myself on a fairly active mind, and thus am hopefully immune to the blandishments from t.v., radio and internet advertising. I can honestly state that I have as least enough resistance to the ‘siren calls’ as the next man, with the advantage that I constantly ask myself two questions when considering purchase.
First I ask if I, or rather we, need it? Secondly I ask is it worth it? But through this process of self-discussion is a strong thread of common sense. How is the product made? Where is it made? Are there better equivalents available? Is price a factor? Many things fit into this stream of thought, during a buying process which can take seconds, sometimes days or weeks. But hopefully none of the processes involve a suggestion made by a carefully-crafted and placed advert which itself was generated by a previous online search!
As the ever-excellent Big Brother Watch site states, the latest idea is to slide ‘cookies’ in where we don’t expect them, and then our ‘surfing’ does the rest. Visit the Adobe site, click on the panels as suggested, and keep the bastards away from your minds and your wallets.