Invasion of the Trained Cyber Monkeys

I’m not sure whether to be amused or offended. After writing an email to my critique partner, I hit send.

Gmail: Did you forget to attach a document? You wrote “I attached” in your email.

Me: What the flippity flop is my email server doing reading my outgoing mail?

I never gave the trained gmail monkey permission to read my stuff. Yet there he was, pointing out that I am stupid. Or forgetful. Or whatever you want to call it.

Personally it makes me feel awkward. Like I don’t want to bring my technology into the bathroom, or the bedroom, or the office, or anywhere with me. I want a little privacy to make my own mistakes and my own decisions. And above all, I don’t want a computer program logging all of my cyber clicks, analyzing them and telling me what my next move should be.

Has Big Brother come home to roost, you tell me? In your opinion, has technology gone too far? Do you appreciate the friendly reminders and nudges and recommendations that the trained cyber monkeys send your way? Or, are you like me and seriously debating whether or not to turn off the invisible wires that connect you to things you don’t understand and never asked for?

Curious–and slightly offended–minds want to know.


4 responses to “Invasion of the Trained Cyber Monkeys

  1. Things like that are harmless. That in particular is likely a small snippet of code that just searches for specific keywords in your email, checks if you actually have an attachment, and then notifies you if you do not. It’s the things you’ll never see that would really scare you if this freaks you out.

    All big internet companies (and small ones, too) have been gathering information on you since day one. Well, not you specifically, but you in general. If Google hadn’t implemented something like this, however, you wouldn’t be questioning it. They have been using outbound (and inbound) emails for targeted advertising for ages. Blogs, like this one, are scanned for content. The myth that things you do online are private is just that and the sooner you don’t let it bother you, the better. Don’t let the big, bad technology monster scare you, dear sister. ❤

    • Oh, I totally get that. It was just an amusing way to bring to light how invasive technology is into our privacy–or rather, the lack therof. And how sick I am getting of not being able to do anything without targeted advertising–based on what I do and say online–being shoved down my throat. Two years ago, I bought Eldest sheets for college, you know, the special sized ones? And the ridiculous ads for college sheets just now quit showing up every time I visited a website with advertising on it. Of course, after this little rant, they will probably start showing up again! Either that, or I will start getting offers for cute little monkeys that I can buy for discounted prices to help me fold said sheets!

      Life in the cyber world is grand, indeed!

  2. Have you read The Circle by Dave Eggers? He’s right there with you on this one.

  3. I haven’t. I will definitely put him on my TBR list!

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