An adult in bed

Above: An adult in bed. Credit: Bruce Mars.

You're Scaring Me

One of the most widely-believed and vexing urban myths (or, perhaps, horrifying realities) of the present time is the perception that one's smartphone is secretly listening-in to one's private and intimate conversations in order to improve the tailoring of adverts, which are sometimes served with uncanny and actually impossible accuracy--an in-love couple lie in bed discussing their hypothetical dream honeymoon location (for the first time ever). Both would like to go to Mexico. Just a few minutes later, one of the two picks up their phone and checks their Instagram feed ... which includes a sponsored-advert for a hotel in Cancun. How did they know that? Many others have a similar story. How does it happen? It is really possible that it's always just coincidence? We don't know. We might never know, or it might turn out to be the biggest scandal yet of the Internet Age.

(25 September 2018)