How Much Do They REALLY Know?

We constantly share information about ourselves whether it’s online, or in person. But do we really know exactly HOW much information we really share about ourselves when it comes to being online? Think about your Facebook profile. How many things have you liked? Where have you tagged yourself recently? What events have you said you were attending? Most people don’t realize exactly how much information they are actually sharing on the internet, or how easy it is for companies to target you more for advertisements with this information.

In this article, Charles Duhigg explains more about why we do the things we do from the places we shop, to our daily routine habits, to exactly how much information we truly put out about ourselves to advertisers. Andrew Pole started working for Target in 2002, but by 2010 he had made Target’s revenues jump from $44 million to $67 million dollars just by finding out people’s habits and going after them with advertisements at the right time based on information they had already collected on them. What type of information you ask? Companies of any sort can go after any information you allow them to see from where you’re from, where you’ve been, what restaurants you go to, if you’re married or divorced, etc. More examples could be,”your age, whether you are married and have kids, which part of town you live in, how long it takes you to drive to the store, your estimated salary, whether you’ve moved recently, what credit cards you carry in your wallet and what web sites you visit” (Duhigg 1).

After reading this article, I have become exponentially more aware of how much information about myself I am putting out for companies and others to see about me on a daily basis. Does that make me more inclined to withhold information for fear of companies knowing too much about me? Not necessarily. I know no matter how much I try, companies will always find some way of advertising things to me based on what I search.

Advertising will always be around us, telling us specific products will make our lives better. There are certain steps we can take to stop being advertised to as much as we now, but I do not believe there is any way to completely irradiate ourselves from advertisers lists. Advertising is a necessary evil that we all must deal with, but that we can still fight against when the time comes.

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