Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Friday, June 26, 2009

Big Brother Hosts My E-Mail Account

So I set up a Gmail account in the interest of keeping Junior Club business separate from - well, actual business - and a fair bit of my recent Gmail traffic has centered on Ways & Means merchandising (t-shirts, caps and other products bearing the JWC logo). One of our new items this year is a cooler bag, and I've traded several e-mails with folks about unit costs, initial order and so on. So one day I happen to look up and see a banner ad directing me to a wholesale tote bag business, and I realize - Gmail is profiling me. After that, I started paying attention to the substance of my e-mails and their interrelation to the advertising at the top of the Gmail page. Some of the connections are tenuous at best - a reference to the July 4th weekend generated an ad for a book about Ben Franklin? Others are pretty intuitive - an offer to purchase 3 x 5 grommeted flags in response to an e-mail about a tailgate - and some are just plain hilarious (a discussion about whether a particular event venue would permit alcoholic beverage service generated a link to

But the best one appears below. Here's the setup - I'm scheduled to be out of pocket most of the day tomorrow on a JWC-related "errand," and my spouse is somewhat less than enthused to be on kid duty for nine straight hours on a Saturday. (The fact that the errand is a fun one is not helping me on the PR front.) I sent an e-mail warning my Saturday partner in crime that I was getting some static from the husband side, and here's what I got from my friends at Gmail:

MARRIAGE WARNING. - Marriage Crisis? Unhappy Spouse? Here's What To Do Now. Guaranteed.

Gmail, it's so reassuring to know that you have my back. You're like Dr. Phil and rolled into one.

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