Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ken Plaisted Assignment 4/5

After looking through my Google and Facebook profile summaries, not much surprised me.  The Google interests section was spot on; as the list of about 30 interests it had from my previous website searches had nothing in it that I could disagree with.  I think it was able to get such a good read on my interests because I use Google Chrome, Google’s web browser.  According to Google’s website, Google Chrome also tracks your interests and combines them with your Google search history.  This is probably why I have so much more interests under the “Based on website history” tab versus only two for the “Based on search history” tab.  The interests reflected my general personality, with interests such as Sports, Wisconsin, Investing, Business, and many sub-categories of these.  If someone were looking at this search history they would immediately know what strikes my interests.  I think it would be especially interesting if Google had a section like “Avoid These Interests” where it could have the subjects that I dislike and would not like to see.  Google's collection of my interests is not disturbing to me, as I think it is a very cool tool to show me content that interests me that I may have not seen if they didn’t tailor their content and advertising to my interests. 
            In the Facebook section, things got a lot more specific, because I have had a Facebook longer than I have had a Google profile and Google Chrome.  Looking at the hashtags for advertisements almost induced a sense of nostalgia from my middle school and high school years like #USAVolleyball and #Spongebob Squarepants.  While it had some really awesome correct hashtags such as #Blue Faced Watches, it also had some hilarious misreads, such as #list of districts in Turkey.  I really liked the collection of things I had “liked” in the past, especially the ones I “liked” in middle school.    It showed me how I have matured as I grow up which was really awesome.  Like Google, not much of this disturbed me as all of the advertising was based off of things that I had “liked” or looked for on Facebook.   I also enjoyed going through the events I had attended in the past, as I saw things that triggered flashbacks such as the event page for my team’s volleyball championship game in high school. I would say because a lot of the information is outdated and due to some just hilarious misreads of my personality, and meanwhile Google had no misses, Google portrayed a more accurate view of me as a person. 

            I think this experience shows that no two people will experience the Internet in the same way.  The Internet world is constantly reshaping itself around the actions of the user, and because nobody will surf exactly the same way, everyone will see a different part of the Internet.  Life in the digital society is constantly monitored and adjusted for our behaviors, and while some may find this invasive I do not.  I find it really cool that we get the best digital media tailored for our needs.  I will not change how I interact with digital media, instead allowing them to constantly adjust to my current interests. 

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