Somebody’s Watching Me

 In Author

“Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re aren’t out to get you.” I’ve always laughed when someone says this, but not so fast Sherlock. A strange thing happened today that gave me the heebie jeebies. Last night, my husband searched the internet on his iPad for grill grates—metal plates added to a barbeque grill to improve cooking quality. To my surprise, when I opened the Instagram app on my own iPad this morning, the third post on my newsfeed displayed the exact product my husband had searched for and the very same website he’d visited. It’s getting creepy out there!

Right away the lyrics from Rockwell’s song Somebody’s Watching Me (1984) came to mind:

I’m just an average man, with an average life.
I work from nine to five, hey hell, I pay the price.
All I want is to be left alone in my average home,
But why do I always feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone…

I always feel like somebody’s watching me
And I have no privacy.

Was this incident a coincidence? I think not! To quote Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ Rule 39 from the NCIS television drama, “There is no such thing as coincidence.” And by the way, Rule 40 is, “If it seems like someone is out to get you, they are.” There you have it—straight up from Leroy Jethro.

Here are the facts: I had only learned about this product two days ago, and I have never looked it up. My husband did his search for the grill grates on a separate device. He has no Instagram or Facebook account. (They can be linked to one another.) Neither one of us has ever visited the website in question before. The only thing we share is an IP address.

So how did the Instagram app on my iPad know about my husband’s search on his iPad? The only thing I can think of is that someone is monitoring—and perhaps selling to interested third parties—the internet searches from our IP address. Thus, whatever anyone searches from our home is being catalogued and analyzed. And I’m sure we’re not the only ones. I guess that means we don’t have to worry about Big Brother taking over our lives anymore, because he’s already here!

I’d love to know what you think about all this.

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Showing 4 comments
  • Donna K. Weaver

    We leave cookies, and they follow us around the ethernet.

    • Wendy C Jorgensen

      Yes. On top of that, it seems that the cookies other members of the household get on their devices are transferred to our devices!

  • Donna Gonzales

    Know what you mean. I keep getting notices about Relative Race. Yes, I watched it, No, I’ve never used our TV for Internet access. (We don’t even have NetFlex.)

    • Wendy C Jorgensen

      I am convinced our television viewing is monitored since many of the cable and satellite services have internet connections. Besides living off the grid without digital devices, I don’t know how to avoid being tracked.

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