When did I lose control over my own life? I don’t remember relinquishing it, but it apparently happened without my knowledge or consent.
You need to finish watching The Chef, read the email from Netflix. A few days before this admonishing email, I had watched one episode in a Netflix documentary series about various chefs around the world. The episode I watched was decent enough, but none of the summaries of the rest of the episodes piqued my interest, so I never watched any of them. Evidently, Netflix was miffed with MY free choice to stop at one episode. Well, I was miffed with THEIR intrusion into my viewing choices. I am perfectly capable of deciding what and when I watch a program.
Netflix annoyed me but did not cause me to lose a huge amount of money as was the case with Google. Google is the equivalent of George Orwell’s Big Brother in the dystopian novel 1984, where citizens’ every move is watched and manipulated by a controlling government, nicknamed Big Brother by Orwell.
How dare I compare Google to the evil Big Brother in 1984? Here’s how I dare. I already had an AOL email account, but everyone told me that Google was better, more modern, and I definitely should have a Google email address. I don’t take well to change. When I find something that works and I am used to, I stick with it. (I’ve had the same hairdresser for 13 years; the same primary doctor for 15 years). But I valiantly gave Google email a shot. It was different from AOL, and I had trouble navigating and finding old mail, new mail, saved mail, and setting up new folders. However, I soldiered on.
About a year into my Google email account, health reasons caused me to cancel a Scandinavian cruise. Because I never received the email from the British travel agent with all the loopholes involved in a refund, I only received a partial refund and lost $2000 on the trip. I argued interminably with the British travel agent, who insisted he sent me all the information. “NO, NO, NO, you never sent it”, I insisted. To no avail. My money was history.
Months later, I was scrolling around in my Gmail, and what do I find, but a folder labeled TRAVEL, which I had never set up and had no idea of its existence. Upon opening it, do you want to guess what was in there? Yup……the cruise refund information that I kept insisting to the travel agent that I had not received. Google had decided, without my knowledge or consent, to make a Travel folder, directing any email from anything related to travel straight into it, resulting in a $2000 loss for unsuspecting me.
As far back as 2008, during the presidential election, Google put a full-size pictorial ad on MY website of the candidate I vehemently opposed. At least they removed it when I politely complained. Oh, you know it was nothing like that. I was not polite, and it was more of a raging fit than a complaint, but the ad was removed.
My bank has undergone a buyout/merger. Last month, while checking my balance online, I noticed a new section. They listed how much money I had spent in Publix Supermarket the previous month and informed me that it far exceeded my usual amount. Perhaps I would like to adjust my spending habits they suggested. Perhaps they would like to mind their own business and stay out of my grocery cart.
So here we have Netflix telling me what I should watch, Google manipulating my email account without bothering to ask me how I want it set up, as well as placing ads I never approved on my website, and my bank butting into my grocery list.
If you dare question any of these companies as to their motives for such intrusions into our lives, they will tell you that they are simply developing APPS to make our lives easier and more manageable.
The Publix APP that organizes my grocery list into the aisles in which my items can be found makes my life easier. Google, Netflix, and my bank telling me what I should watch, buy, spend, and reorganizing my email without my consent is George Orwell’s BIG BROTHER spying on my every move, intruding into my life, and I do not like it one bit.
Originally published at https://vocal.media.