Don’t you hate how the Internet is more and more like George Orwell‘s Big Brother every day?
It knows what you ordered and when; it’s able to predict what you might buy next and can record how many times you’ve viewed something (and when). Heck, it knows your shoe size (and maybe even the size of your skivvies).
It’s more than a little creepy, really. (I think it also knows when you are sleeping and knows when you’re awake.)
In fact, the Internet does such a good job of tracking your every move, there’s at least one group of folks — the ones who handle Gmail — who apparently think you may have stopped thinking for yourself.
I use Gmail; I guess millions of us do. It does a nice job. Conversations are neatly grouped; it’s easy to track and store things. It’s cute that you can see a little thumbnail profile of the folks you communicate with — especially fun if you’re corresponding with a stranger (As in: Oh! THAT’s what he/she looks like!).
In the past few days, however, I’ve noticed something on Gmail that gives me pause. If my mouse happens to hover over my own email address in a string of correspondence, my name and avatar pop up as always.
But I notice now that the Gmail folks have added “(you)” after my name.
Is this simply an effort to be helpful?
Do they think I’m so tired/stressed/overworked that I don’t know my name or recognize the face that greets me in the mirror each morning?
Or is it that the all-knowing computer can tell how sorely I need a vacation?
Maybe they have the philosophy Bill had when at a conference. He wanted to put his name tag on upside down so that he could figure out his name in case of an evening of overindulgence.
I have had days that I might have a problem coming up with my name if asked. My picture would help!