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Are Online Ads Ruining Your Surprises?

Are Online Ads Ruining Your Surprises?

Do you love surprises? Me too. They are one of my favorite things in life. And by surprises, I mean the good kind. You know, surprise birthday parties and presents you weren’t expecting—not plumbing leaks, broken transmissions or hairballs on the carpet.

One of the things I hate is when a good surprise gets ruined. Like when a package arrives, not in a generic Amazon Prime box, but in original packaging from the shipper. Now, how am I going to act all surprised at the thoughtful set of new dish towels my husband got me for my birthday when they show up in a box from Bed, Bath and Beyond that says, “Thoughtful set of birthday dish towels” in capital letters on the outside?

If you share a common computer, I’ll bet your surprises are getting ruined all the time. Thanks, Google! I’m talking about the ads. The ads that haunt you after you’ve searched and shopped for anything online.

When this first started happening, we all thought it was pretty creepy. But hey, in our online lives, we adapted. I learned to accept that if I searched for new kitchen furniture online, I would be haunted for months to come by Vintage Casual Dining Sets in Antique White. After Christmas shopping for clothes for my daughter, it was even kind of amusing. And honestly, Fashion Nova, you ought to be ashamed of yourself, marketing those jeans to a woman in her fifties.

But now, well, A City Mom is getting cranky about all this target marketing. Just about every gift I received for my birthday this year was, if not outright given away by an ad, then at least hinted at by what my husband searched for on the kitchen computer.

Don’t get me wrong. High-class problem to have. And I love my new watch—I needed one. But I would have loved it so much more if it had been a surprise. And a quick Google search (sigh) will show you ways to stop the targeted ads.

I suppose, in the interest of maintaining an element of surprise, we could use non-shared computers at gift-giving times, or, gulp, start shopping in actual brick and mortar stores. A little inconvenience to put up with in a time when you can get just about anything you desire delivered to your door with the click of a mouse.

And Honey, don’t think I’m not excited about the HP High Yield 564 ink you have on back order. When it gets here, I’ll try to act surprised.

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