Privacy and Choice . . . .

Katherine Bindley’s recent article in The Wall Street Journal, “Why Facebook Still Seems to Spy on You,” questions the reality of some supposed new privacy controls from social media, noting, “The network [Facebook] has streamlined its privacy settings, shared more details about how data is used and highlighted how its ad controls work.” Then Bindley asks, “If we take advantage of all these privacy controls, it shouldn’t still feel as if Facebook is spying on us, right? We shouldn’t see so many ads that seem so closely tied to our activity on our phones, on the internet or in real life.”  Ms. Bindley tested those assumptions recently in a couple ways:  by downloading a particular app (and very quickly saw ads for a related product) and walking into a clothing boutique, then receiving a related ad from Instagram a day later.   One explanation she received was that, “I was targeted because I was part of a look-alike audience that resembles customers, uploaded by the advertiser, who apparently are in need of” the kind of clothing provided by a business connected to that app.

OK, so our information and location and interests and etc. and etc. are not as private as we might hope and controlling our information and location and interests and etc. and etc. is not as easy as we might like.  Facebook doesn’t control everything and advertisers still have lists of previous customers.

But that’s really the issue, isn’t it: control, and choice.  Clearly businesses buy advertising or target us with ads, whether in print or online or billboards or elsewhere, in hopes we will buy their products or services.  But no one is forcing us to do that; no one is pushing a button in our heads or minds, or even our hearts, that forces us to buy things just because we see an ad, however compelling that ad might be.

So it’s all about choice: our choice – with ads, our decision to buy or not.  In life, it’s all about choice, too, to make decisions that move us ahead or hold us back.

In life, it’s all about choice, too, to make decisions that move us ahead or hold us back.  To choose the kind of life we want to lead, the future we want to have, and then the decisions we need to make to move that vision forward.   One of the principles of iPEC coaching is that “The greatest freedom is the freedom choice,” patterned after similar thoughts from Viktor Frankl (“Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude.”) and William Jennings Bryan (“Destiny is no matter of chance.  It is a matter of choice.”). And those two quotations pretty much encapsulate it all:  our destiny or future is a matter of choice, and the perspective we take on how to get there is our choice as well.  The latter can mean our approach to internal energy blocks (such as gremlins, assumptions, interpretations, and limiting beliefs – GAILs) and our perspective on external energy blocks – things outside of us and perhaps out of our control.      

So where are you on choice?  What are you choosing for your future, and what challenges do you encounter?  Is your vision clear?  Any GAILs to clear or new perspectives needed?  If so, keep calm and call (or schedule an appointment with) a coach: Kurt’s schedule.

Wishing you mindful and abundant choosing.

By the way, here is a link to The Wall Street Journal article:  https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-ads-will-follow-you-even-when-your-privacy-settings-are-dialed-up-11551362400?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=3

Happy reading, and here’s to making good choices!

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