Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Internet Is All Up in My Business

and it is creeping me out.

I finally got a Facebook account a few months ago.   The only information I entered was my name and my birthday.  Not my high school.  Not my current city.  Not my email address.  Not my mom's maiden name.  Just my name and birthday.  Within seconds, I was given a list of approximately 120 people I might know.  I knew 119 of them.

That is creepy. 

I know that my name was probably in their email address books, but how did they know it was me?

And then, I was searching for pendant lights for the kitchen.  I hate shopping online, as I am a tactile person.  I want to see it, touch it, and, if clothes or shoes, try them on.  However, I couldn't find any lights that I liked, so I looked online.

I didn't enter my name on any site.  I didn't put anything in any cart.  I didn't "like" anything on Facebook.  I simply googled "mini pendant lights" and looked around.

The next day, I was online catching up on my blog reading, and the exact lights that I had seen and liked were popping up on every ad.  They still are, actually. 

Creepy, creepy, creepy.

I'm not a fan of the computer knowing more about me than my husband does.

I had a small bit of creepy on Saturday.  This was a good creepy, though.  I went to a friend's party, and as I walked into a different room I heard someone say, "She was talking about Buttercup, wasn't she?"


I turned around and got to talk to someone who reads this here blog.

A stranger until that day.

I know, in theory, that people are out there reading this.  I just forget that not all of them comment.  It was my first fan meet-up.  Cool.  But kinda creepy, having someone I don't know in the least knowing so much about me.  I'm so glad that she was such a nice, sweet lady and not some creepy stalker.

Today, I was sent over the edge with computer creepiness.  And not the good kind.

I ended up buying some pendant lights from last weekend.  On Wednesday, I got a confirmation email that they had been shipped.  Friday I received an email telling me, "Your pendant lights have been delivered!"

Come again?

I have not seen any package.

Later, I got the mail and found a note from the post office saying the mail lady didn't deliver our package, because she was afraid of our dogs.

Aha!  There's our lights.

Yesterday, I went to pick them up.

The package did not contain lights, but Christmas presents for the kids.

The first thought in my head was, "Where the hell are my lights???"

I checked my email and found that Overstock sent them through UPS.  I checked my tracking number, and it also said that the package was delivered.

That is when I went around the yard to see if the dogs had gotten ahold of it before I got home.

No torn-up box to be found.

I hunted down a phone number for UPS, entered my tracking number, and heard, "The package was delivered to Southern Mist Drive.  LETT signed for it."

We don't live on Southern Mist Drive.

However, we did live there 14 years ago.

My lights were delivered to an apartment we lived in 14 years ago!  To a person who clearly is not me! 

Tell me, how in the name of all that is good does something like that happen????

I may be losing my mind, but I know for certain I did not put Southern Mist as the shipping address. didn't even exist 14 years ago.  Besides the fact we didn't have a computer 14 years ago. 

UPS did deliver packages to that address when we lived there, but they have also been to our last house and this one.

How did that address get on the mailing label????

I called up the apartment office, gave them my name, and was told the current resident of our old apartment was kind (and honest) enough to leave the package at the office. 

I had to drive 30 minutes out of my way to go pick up my lights.

Sure, it was a nice little trip down memory lane, as I got to show Phoenix where he spent the first 9 months of his life, but it is not something I have any time for.

And to top it off, I don't think the lights are going to work.  They are purple.  Not the beige shades I was expecting.  Blast it all.

I do believe I'm done with ordering online.

Or doing much of anything online.

It's too creepy.

And frustrating.

Well, except for blogging.

That's fun creepy.

I'll keep doing that.


Have a lovely day!


  1. Yeah that is creepy. Computers will rule the world one day, I'm sure. At a recent hospital appointment, the computer knew all about me, despite my not having been for years.

  2. Oh, I'm glad you're sticking with blogging, but after your week, I can understand why you're feeling a little creeped out. I guess it's just lucky you didn't move very far away in the past 14 years!

    1. No kidding! Imagine if they would have sent it to our old address in Bermuda!

  3. OK, that is just plain bizarre about the delivery mix up. Can't even begin to imagine how that one happened. As for the creepy ads, that's because whenever you go to a site (well, not ALL sites), it adds a tracking "cookie" to your computer. I will go through and delete my browsing history and cookies every now and again, but what makes me the most crazy is that it's always something you have already looked at or bought. It would make much more sense if I bought something online and was then shown ads for related items that might be of interest. How does it benefit me OR the vendor to show me ads for something I already bought from them?!?!?! But not matter how you slice it, it does creep me out that I'll look at an item on a store's site, then go over to check out the TV Guide to see what's on that night (or another random site) and see what I was looking at on the store site earlier.

    1. I vaguely remember my sister mentioning cookies. When I realized she wasn't talking about snickerdoodles, I tuned it out. Perhaps I'll need to revisit that topic with her to figure out how to do that cookie clearing thing.
      Thanks for the info!

  4. That's creepy alright! Wow O_O I'm glad I keep my blog completely separate from my real name. That decision was triggered partly by when a business acquaintance sent me an e-mail and I noticed she had my blog nickname as my name in her contact list.

    I was blogging under a nickname then too, but I had shared the url with friends and family in a facebook message. I don't know how it got past that group of people, but I was so freaked out I closed the blog to uninvited viewers immediately.

    No one in my daily life knows my blog name and url now except my husband and I like it like that. I talk about very personal things on my blog and I don't want them shared with casual acquaintances and co-workers. Complete strangers, yes :) I wouldn't even mind meeting blog friends in real life, but I want it to be in that direction (ie from blog to real life), not the other way around. If that made any sense at all!

    1. It makes complete sense. I didn't tell anyone that I had a blog until earlier this year, and it was only my dad, as he was relentlessly bugging me about getting on facebook. He read it and has since told everyone about it.
      It is very weird having people you know and see know stories you didn't know they knew. (I feel like I need to say "whose on first" after that sentence.)
      I'm perfectly fine with complete strangers reading all they want. Weird, isn't it?

  5. I completely relate to this post! I just joined Facebook a couple of months ago too. I NEVER submitted an my address. The other day, I go on there and it says "places where R has been lately" and it has a house icon with the NAME of the apartment building where I live stuck into a google map!! The worst part is that I DON'T KNOW HOW TO GET RID OF IT!! I also don't like buying things online for the same reasons.

    1. Holy cow! That map thing would make me crazy. Perhaps, as Chris said above, there is a cookie for that? I am a complete moron when it comes to computers. Which makes this even creepier, I think.
      Thanks for stopping by!


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