I am a big planner and rarely buy anything on impulse. Well, okay, except for shoes. For the most part though, I research, collect ideas, develop a vision and then budget according to my final plan. My approach means that I spend a good amount of time online looking stuff up, saving possibilities and Pinteresting (is that a word?).
But then Google et al decided that stalking people sounds like a lot of fun and money and they invented online behavioral advertising. It gave me the creeps the first time I noticed a product similar to the one I had just researched popping up everywhere I went online.
It still gives me the creeps. Those advertising dollars are completely lost on me. It's like inviting a person who is stalking you into your home. Would you like a cup of tea with those binoculars?
It is not enticing me to visit a page. Au contraire! I tend to avoid the companies that are haunting appear to follow me everywhere I go in the virtual world.
I was talking with a friend about this very topic the other day and he told me about a website currently in its BETA stage: Opt Out From Online Behavioral Advertising.
How did I not know about that? Even Facebook (imagine that) has a link to it under your settings → Facebook Ads. Maybe I did and just didn't pay much attention to it because this whole targeted online advertising thing didn't seem as obvious at first.
The consumer opt-out page is a self-regulatory program (flaw!). Nevertheless, I was able to successfully opt-out from 120 companies who specialize in creeping people out online behavioral advertising. Onehundredtwenty! There are 2 other companies who participate but their "status is currently unavailable".
I am sharing this info because chances are that there are others who are just as creeped out as me and are not aware of the opt out page.
If you decide to follow the link, please know that you'll have to do the same for all the browsers you use on all your electronic devices you surf the web on. And you should do so periodically.
Behavioral online advertising, it's giving me the creeps!