We can definitely identify with Bob Garfield over at MediaPost. After a wide-ranging Web search for the perfect pair of sunglasses, he finds that he can’t get away from them now:
(E)veryplace I go on the World Wide Web, the sunglasses are following me. Like a bad penny or a very good National Security Agency. In the ad industry this practice of following a shopper’s digital footprints is known as “retargeting.” Elsewhere it is known simply as stalking.
Yo, creepy dude with the sunglasses, please leave me the hell alone.
Nope, I go to NewRepublic.com to read about Gov. Chris Christie’s dubious use of federal Sandy recovery funds, and there are my sunglasses. I go to The New York Times to learn about the Malaysian pilot’s deleted flight simulator data, and there are my sunglasses. I go to Boston.com about Crimea, to the Associated Press about the Comcast-Time Warner merger, to the Washington Post about the Megamillions jackpot, to BloombergBusinessweek com about Internet governance, to Philly.com about pitching ace Cole Hamels’ tired left arm…there they are.
A damn fine-looking pair of sunglasses, distinctive and cool without being so obnoxiously Italian chic that someone will want to punch me in the face. But excuse me, WORLD OF INTERNET COMMERCE: I BOUGHT THEM ALREADY. THEY ARE RIGHT NOW WINGING THEIR WAY FROM ISRAEL. I HAVE THE RECEIPT TO PROVE IT. SO PLEASE STOP SELLING ME AN ITEM I ALREADY OWN. I BEG YOU.
Not only are all these e-retailers wasting their own money, they are ruining my journey of discovery. I really fell in love with those sunglasses. (Not spiritual forever love. Not donating a kidney/cleaning up vomit love. But definitely a long period of “Oh, how I want you in front of my eyes” love.) But already the glow is fading. In fact, I’m getting sick of looking at the damn things….
Oh, we know the feeling…