By Shellie Miller
How many of us utilize our spare time running a variety of errands, getting our kids off to some extracurricular activity, or stopping for a quick latte on the way to work? For most, any one of these events is not remarkable. On any given day, my schedule may have me dropping something at school, running into a home-improvement store, and stopping at the dry cleaner before or after work hours. I never think twice about anybody “watching.“
A few months ago, my husband and I were having a video chat with our son in Japan. My husband told him about a recent afternoon at a local activity… let’s say a bowling alley. Not 30 seconds later, an ad for that bowling alley popped up on Hubby’s smartphone. Surprised at the time, we’ve since learned through conversations with friends and associates that this is not uncommon.
Up until that moment, I was certain that just two people, apart from myself and God, knew my deepest desires and secrets. It’s becoming more and more clear to me that innocence for those of us with smartphones is lost. “Big Brother” or some other entity may know more about us than we, ourselves, do.
This subject may seem trivial or unimportant, but allow me to elucidate one more of a few recent incidents. In my opinion, it’s getting a bit creepy when my telephone suggests the shortest route to a place it knows I will be in an hour. How does it “know” this? It’s not in my calendar, but I do stop every two weeks for a standing appointment with my manicurist. When I was coming out of the automobile tag agency yesterday and my phone suggested the quickest way to get to my nail appointment, I was a little spooked.
Please don’t mistake my short rant with an advice column. No solutions are offered here. There are definitely experts out there who can teach us how to guard our privacy more closely, but the fact that my questionably private link to the rest of the world is compiling and taking note of everything that I have ever inquired about, visited, or participated in for the last few years really gives me the willies.
If you need to get in touch with me, just call the nail salon every other Monday and ask for Shellie.