Yes, you are being tracked every minute you have a screen before your face. If you so much as Google Wind in the Willows you will be bombarded with ads for toad clothing, toad houses, toad recordings, and toad viewing vacations.
This also wrecks any surprises you may have planned. By typing in men’s neckties or slippers or sporting goods or games or jackets, you have alerted the world that you now want to see at least 80 ads for these items, and they will pop up when the gift recipient is standing behind you or perhaps on the family computer himself. “Why are there so many ads for concert tickets?” he will ask.
If you are in a book club and look into buying The Sun Also Rises from Amazon, you will soon see ads for every book under the sun about the sun.
It’s like having a nosy neighbor who leans over the fence and says, “So I hear Joni’s getting you a cookbook. Are you taking up cooking? What do you like to cook? My sister is a cook. I thought about being a cook. It was for a Chicago-style pizza place. I have some albums by Chicago. You like music? I know some musicians. Or maybe it’s magicians. You like magic tricks? Speaking of tricks, we had a lot of trick-or-treaters this year.”
Just to cover my bases, I have VERY nice neighbors who would never do this. But then none of them are in the computer ad business.
I should run ads for my books! All you get is a little blurb at the end of my blog, when I could be bombarding the world with graphics and videos! I am missing the boat (and please do not start sending me boat ads).