When I was in high school, I worked at Target. I usually closed up shop around 11 pm, then drove home on the abandoned roads of Sioux Falls. When I was in high school, I could be kind of a jerk as you might be able to imagine. Anyways, on the way home one night, I don’t remember what I did, but I angered a car ahead of me, by either honking at them, or flashing my lights.
He wasn’t happy with me, so he decided to follow me home. It wasn’t the most pleasant feeling in the world, but I drove really slowly so as not to anger him further. When I got to a certain neighborhood, I decided to try to throw him off the trail by turning into a neighborhood and winding in and out to lose him. He was smarter than me, and found me on the other side. At that point, I was out of courage and tricks, so I just went home while he followed me all the way there. I got out of my car, went inside and hoped that I wouldn’t hear from him again.
I didn’t, but I do know the creepy feeling of being followed. Yesterday, that feeling returned when I was listening to an ad on the radio about a bank. I listened to the name and turned slowly to my right and the exact bank that was doing the ad appeared. It creeped me the heck out. Like the radio people peered inside my brain and decided to do the ad just for me.
It shouldn’t surprise me though. I took a social media certificate program a couple years ago and I know why and how Facebook, Google, Twitter and others can follow you around the web. There is what they call a pixel that businesses can place on their websites and Facebook pages, etc. and the pixel will follow you around the web. So for instance, if you have your Facebook profile up, and then you go to Amazon and search for a Go Pro, but then you leave the site, an ad might appear in your Facebook feed for Go Pro gear. It’s because there is a little snipet of code, your pixel, that knows you went there, and Go Pro can retarget someone who has already visited their site on Amazon.
Just when you though stalking in real life wasn’t creepy enough, now you can have pixels follow you all around the web.
But that radio ad, that is some next level crap. I’m not sure how that bank read my mind and knew I was going to look to the right and know that I was going to see their bank. On the other hand, my wife can read my mind all the time, too. She knows when I will want pizza, knows that I will be watching the Office on Netflix and what joke I will be making next.
Maybe it isn’t hard for ads to find me. It’s just that I’m just so predictable.
What about you guys? Any crazy ads stalking you on your Facebook feeds? Any weird coincidences with advertisements? Or just any crazy stalking in real life?
Bitter Stalkered Ben