Like a lot of people, I use Gmail for some things. Primarily for the free Google Drive folder so I can access documents or photos or whatever when needed while out of the house (rare though that might be in pandemic times), and that I have an online email client that is fairly reliable. The fly in the ointment of course is that the big G wants to know every single detail about you that it can get it’s hands on so that they can sell or use the data. Whether that is for outside analytics or for ad-targeting or some other use, it is common. It comes with the territory and everyone knows that Google, like all “free” social media platforms, considers users as the product, not the client.
Google search is a powerful. When it comes to researching and writing, it’s pretty hard to beat for finding those nifty factoids. I cannot even imagine what it had been like for authors relying solely on libraries and snail mail to research books pre-internet. I fear my skills at procrastachievement would have been my undoing before I even got started, and in fact they were.
The fun part is that every search I do nowadays usually results in third party cookies or Google itself sending buttloads of spam via email or by the sending of completely inappropriate ads to my browser. I used to find it frustrating but now it’s just entertaining. Plus it is completely useless to them, they just don’t know it. Unless of course, they want to have some sort of idea about my next book(s).
Where else can I get emails about chicken coop spacing between nests, autopsy equipment, Tunisian fishing boats of the 12th century (as some of you saw recently), data storage solutions, how to fletch, sew, draft, swing dance, weld, or the composition of various kinds rocks, famous outlaws, how long a heart can beat with a car aerial stuck in it, types of tires for 1950’s bicyles, and what to do when finding yourself trapped inside a large fish… sigh, the list goes on and I haven’t even gotten into the thriller/horror side of searching…
(fyi, none of those searches are relevant to Throwback 😉 )
I also get a lot of mental health emails because of my search histories. And who knows who else finds it interesting, amiright? Should be interesting if I ever cross a border again. 🙂
Ahh the writer’s life. Could be worse, Amazon seems to think I collect crockpots and toilet brushes…