Adventures in Consumer Tracking

I think I am going to start a new feature called “Adventures in Consumer Tracking.”  This will be where I talk about all of the bizarre stuff that I get in the mail because A.) I research a lot of diverse subject matters while doing writing, B.) I don’t have stringent enough safeguards to prevent cookie tracking, and C.) I belong to a number of deal sharing sites.

More and more companies, like Google, are creating customer profiles of you that they can sell to companies who want contact information on people who, the data show, might be interested in their products.  Sometimes, this formula creates an accuracy that is so precise that it can be eerie and rattling.

But sometimes, it can be downright hilarious.  For instance, one time, when I was visiting a friend and we went for a walk to a Kwik Trip, I bought him a pack of cigarettes because he didn’t bring his wallet with him and because I am an enabler.  I bought them with my debit card, which of course has all my information tied to it. Because of that, about once a month I get Kwik Trip coupons for Camel brand cigarettes.  I don’t use those, but I do use the coffee coupons in the same mailer because, as I’m sure they know, I also like to buy coffee there when I’m on the road.  I call it the Vice Mail.

Another one I get ALL THE TIME is ads, coupons, and invitations for free trials on hearing aids.  I do not wear a hearing aid.  Outside of my mother, no one in my near family uses a hearing aid that I know of.  This has to be for one reason only, because one time I bought hearing aid batteries on Amazon because I thought I needed them for a bizarre children’s toy I was trying to fix.  Turns out I needed a watch battery with the exact same identification number.  I still have those batteries in fact.  I have no idea what I’m going to do with them.  But having bought them once, I will probably get hearing aid mailers forever.

Today, in the mail, completely at random, I got a book called “They Thought For Themselves: Ten Amazing Jews” by Sid Roth.  It’s an updated version of this book.  Despite its dust jacket description and preface, one soon comes to learn that this is a book designed for the sole purpose of converting Jews to Christianity, and is regularly mailed to Jewish households.

Which we are not.

HOWEVER, I did write one time on my Facebook page that my uncle Gary, who is big time into genealogy, discovered that we have a pretty hefty Jewish branch on our family tree that we hadn’t known about before.  So I made a short write-up about that, noting that if one followed the belief that a child born to a Jewish mother is considered a Jew, then that could potentially make a bunch of us Jewish down the matriarchal line.  I concluded that this information probably would make more of a difference to other people, were they to know it, than it ever would to me.

And now, as the Vice-President of the church council of Grace Lutheran, I have just been the target of a guerrilla marketing tactic designed to convert me from Judaism to Christianity.

I used to think that it was scary what some faceless company might know about me. Now I have to wonder about the possible repercussions of what a company THINKS it knows about me.

By the way, for any web spiders crawling over my blog for details of things to mail me, I’m planning to  take up Platinum Lamborghini driving with Mila Kunis eating caviar for my next hobby.

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Author of over sixty children's books, as well writer of textbook materials and standardized exam text. I may have helped teach your children...

Posted in Adventures in Consumer Tracking
One comment on “Adventures in Consumer Tracking
  1. Dawn says:

    I also got the Sid Roth Book in the mail about a month ago.

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