Click on Me!

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Greetings, reader. This is clickbait. Thanks for clicking. I really appreciate it, and so do the advertising companies. I do, because I like feeling heard, and when you read my articles, that’s how you make me feel. Thanks for that. The advertising companies do because your click is worth way more than you think it is.

Soon, an ad will appear in the middle of this article, interrupting your reading and breaking your focus. Or maybe it just did. This has probably happened to you more than once if you’ve ever read any kind of article on the internet before. Odds are, it hasn’t been the same ad. But it’s probably always been something that kind of has to do with your life. For me, this happens all the time, probably because I read a lot of articles on my phone. I am constantly having to close popup windows and ignore flashing billboards in the margins of the article I’m reading about the wastefulness of capitalism.

This is the world in which we live, but the thing I find most confusing is that the ad which is shown to me most often is an ad for the college which I already attend. People I know personally jump onto my computer screen, trying to get me to come to a school I live at right now. To me, this seems like a waste of an advertisement. Isn’t the whole point to try and attract people who don’t already have what you’re promoting?

The idea of advertising something is to spread the word to people who may be interested in the product, service, or idea you are marketing. With the creation of the internet, the world of advertising exploded. Suddenly there was never before seen access to consumers all across the globe, from all age groups, ethnicities, and walks of life. But how does a company ensure that its products or services are being seen by the right people? The answer is cookies. Cookies are small bits of data gathered by some websites which contain information on every person who visits them. They are sent to advertising agencies, which use them to promote products they think each individual would be interested in based on their internet browsing patterns. Because of cookies, my frequent visits to the website of my own college ensures that 70% of the ads I see are for that college. This happens with purchasing patterns on Amazon, videos watched on Youtube, and countless other websites.

Companies get paid based on how many people click on their ad, so it is very important that they target the right people, those most likely to click. The websites on which the ads appear get paid to put the ads on the page being viewed. Therefore, it is a phenomenal success for several parties when you click on literally anything on the internet. Everything is clickbait. This article is clickbait. Be mindful where you click, because it could come back to haunt you.

PS: When you browse the internet, there are thousands of unseen tracking technologies that connect you and your browsing data to companies across the world so that they can target you with ads and communications, analyze your browsing behavior, and integrate their own third-party web technologies. These trackers slow down page load time as they transmit and download data, increase clutter on websites with ads and pop-ups, and put your information at risk as they share your browsing behavior with other companies. https://www.ghostery.com/ is an enlightening Google Chrome extension tool! Ghostery offers a free browser extension that makes browsing the internet cleaner, faster, and safer. This tool detects and blocks tracking technologies on the websites you visit to speed up page loads, eliminate clutter, and protect your data and privacy. It also keeps you informed on what companies are tracking you and gives you the tools you need to determine what to block and when!

See you soon,

Hannah

[Picture Link: http://bit.ly/2mMCbvD]

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