Please Internet Giants, Stop Painstakingly Curating My Life!

Please Internet Giants, Stop Painstakingly Curating My Life! January 21, 2021

Image credit: Katie Gerrard @ Manic Pagan Dream Grrl for Patheos

I’m tired of Facebook and Google curating my day for me. Internet giants are beginning to run my life and right now I’m saying, it’s too much.

Look, I even arranged my first sentence painstakingly to please them, adding the key words from the title in a natural and relevant way to ensure it hits the right searches.

I’m so done.

Everything I see online has been chosen for me based on my previous decisions. I’ve not felt so limited by bad choices since I chose Business Studies over Religious Education in year nine.

Honestly, my love of sloths in moustaches was fleeting. It was a terrible mistake we all moved on from in 2017, you can stop showing me “sloth mum” mugs now.

I can’t even do an Asda shop without them deciding which brand of flour I should see first because once upon a time I idly made that choice.

“But you only get the things you want, what’s the problem? AI helps you see more of what you’re interested in.”

Except it doesn’t.

It also shows what people have paid for me to see. Which I can mostly assure you, I really don’t need or want more of in my life.

Besides, AI might know what I liked last week but it doesn’t know what I’m going to like this week. Unless it’s deciding for me based on the algorithm of what people like me liked a week ago.

I’m so not down with this.

My free will is being eroded.

I don’t want to be shown carefully curated things which plan my life for me.

Dating apps even decide who we want to see and who we don’t.

Marketers don’t get to decide what I’ll be having for breakfast next week or which of my friends I like the most.

Once upon a time I had 800 or so Facebook friends, now it looks like I have about fifty. They’re most excellent people but I miss the other 750. I miss seeing what my old neighbour’s baby looks like now or what my ex-colleague from a decade ago is recruiting for today.

Just because I don’t react regularly and in a measurable way doesn’t mean I don’t want to see these things.

I used to follow crafting pages, bands I never listened to, and authors whose books I was planning to read someday.

My social media feeds were full of interesting stuff I’d never even begun to imagine existed.

Now I only see the kinds of things I’ve already looked at, and that which statistically people “like me” have interacted with.

My google searches even favour the things I looked at before. That’s so not the point of a search! I want to find the new things please!

Every step of my internet browsing is monetised. It’s as though if I don’t prove I want something by spending money I don’t get to interact with it.

Marketing has always existed. Supermarkets have always decided what beans to put in the place we automatically look.

But in real life I can filter it all out. My neurodiverse brain mostly bypasses all the visual clues and expectations. It skips happily away from the most profitable to find the beans with the best price for taste ratio.

The internet is no longer allowing me to do this.

And I’m so bored.

Bored of identikit adverts. Tired of the same colours and styles. Sick of the same brand of pasta.

I remember the heady days of Regretsy, of Stephen Fry following everyone on Twitter, and new websites being visible.

The time when Ebay was so small you could filter by 99p and size 12 on a Sunday night and decide what insane outfit you’d be wearing to work on Wednesday.

The world is so monetised it makes me feel exhausted to be a part of it.

Stop second guessing what my next move will be and ultimately giving me no option but to do it.

I want free will.

I want free choice.

Show me all the crazy things you think won’t sell. Because once upon a time *you* were all crazy things which hadn’t caught on yet.

Give me posts from my friend who has 20 followers and three of them are cats.

Throw up that knitted jumper with one sleeve longer than the other.

Show me the punk band who one day might change the world.

Because you’re boring me.

And I’m disengaging with your identikit scrolling and pages and pages of limited options.

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