For a while now, Gmail has been showing me advertisements in my Social, Promotions, and Updates tabs. And though I’ve been dismissing them at will, I can’t help but freak out when I see something so relevant to what I had been searching a while ago.
I know, Google reading my emails and following my browsing history isn’t a new concept. Google has always done that, and despite a lot of people’s outburst against it, it doesn’t seem like big G would stop anytime soon. On another note, part of my work involves writing ads for Google to show our customers when they search for something relevant. So I don’t even think I have the right to be outraged by the ads.
Still, I am.
I don’t like the fact that Google is messing with my search history. It’s messing with my head. I don’t browse for anything vile but I get cautious even when my boss stands behind me. And to think Google is just right there, inside my system, peeking at me, and pecking at every trail I leave is just a little too much to take.
Then there’s the “Tell us why you dismissed the ad” message. That’s got to be the most sarcastic message that Google can send its users. I mean, what do you expect, Google? I dismiss the ads because they’re masquerading as emails while obscuring my actual emails. Not to mention it’s rude to shove ads in the face of someone who’s logging in first thing in the morning.
As if these weren’t enough, there are people out there who don’t care about Google’s meddling. I met a woman who shrugged off the idea as if she couldn’t care less. She was happy, instead, that Google had found her the curling iron she had tried and failed to find online.
Emails, like letters, are personal — even if I’m just writing to a software support team. I don’t appreciate it when a G product lures me into relying on its technology. The world already depends too much on Google. From my search and routes to documents and email, if I log into one app, a single company can see through me like glass.
To put it in plain speak, no matter where I go, big G follows me, watching me like a hawk. Why does it feel like 1984 again