Technology Creep

When gamers talk about “creep” they are often discussing things such as “Power Creep”. I don’t want the title of this short piece to be confused with that. I am talking about pure creep-y, which is a much different kind.

I consider myself very tech friendly and tend to early adopt and welcome technology into all parts of my personal life. My house has a Nest thermostat and 3 Nest smoke/carbon dioxide detectors. Onenote has replaced my pen and paper list obsession. I start far too many sentences with “OK GOOGLE” while holding my phone close to my mouth. I haven’t bought a paper based magazine in three years since my first The Economist digital only subscription. 90% of the books I consume are in audible or digital format. As soon as Nest let’s me do it, I’ll replace my door locks with Keyfobs. I am very comfortable with technology – even at my old age of 40. I can’t wait for my car to be able to drive itself.

I do find ignorance is a bit blissful when it comes to what our devices and services are actually tracking. This became a full realization when I got home last night from our two weeks in Denmark, and Google greeted me with this.

That is my trip in Denmark with key places, cities and timelines through the photos I took with my cell phone. Those weren’t the only photos I took, but were most through my Android based Samsung Galaxy s5. My wife thought it was really cool. I was a bit creeped out.

I didn’t ask Google to do that.

Google figured out I was back home because it knows where I live. It tells me everyday when I am commuting home from work how much longer until I get home – even when I don’t ask. Hell, I don’t remember telling Google where I live. It does know I sleep there every night though, or at least, that is where my phone charges all night (which means people are sleeping for the most part).

I have vendors trying to sell customers near my businesses geo-fenced coupons or ads to phones as they near retail outlets but I find that way to creepy. I figure that in all of my comfort if I have unease then surely others will.

I used to post with my real first name and last initial on this site while most others used their gaming names. I ended up getting a bit uncomfortable when I overheard some colleagues making fun of adult gamers. That’s when I switched it – although I felt a bit silly of it afterwards. I wonder how much of me should be here versus how much of what I think should be and the two are one in the same at the end of the day.

All that being said I am still pro-Google (and also not an Apple fan, although I think they can co-exist) but just want to pay a bit more attention to how my technology is in and around my life with a mind of its own.

Hell, after that whole article I still posted it up for the world to see. Although that is a bit presumptuous. My readers and Blognation to see at the least.

Do you have any examples of creepy tech – or maybe amazing tech? Am I over thinking this and should just be glad Google was nice enough to make me a digital photo album for free?

9 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I do my best never to let any machines know who I am or where I am. Unfortunately if you want to use a lot of the useful aspects of modern technology you can’t avoid it entirely. I will definitely not be giving anything in my house any kind of autonomous authority over anything ever though.

    At the moment it looks as though the generation going through schools and colleges are 100% on board with a non-private, constantly-available and tracked existence, which suggest privacy could be going the way of the servant class and outdoor plumbing. I’m not so sure. Give it a couple of decades and there could be a counter-revolution. If our robot overlords allow it.

    1. It seems to be true that the younger generations are more relaxed with this (some even think it makes complete sense – why wouldn’t you want a free discount coupon for a store you just walked by..)

      It has been pretty “out of sight, out of mind” for me and I have enjoyed the benefits of trading my privacy for services, and I wonder if that is better than trading money for it.

      This event just made it more in my face =)

  2. For the most part, I embrace it. It’s a bit off-putting at times, but I don’t mind coming one with the machines.

    Now when the machines start pretending to be me …

    1. I think the machines are already pretending to be you. I have suspected that for some time! Every blog post I visit you have already been there and “liked” it. What have you done with the flesh and bones Murf!


  3. I’d draw the line at door locks.

    The other month I was just reading a hilarious article about “smart locks” that might perhaps blue screen and crash (and leave your door unlocked, for anyone to walk in) or maybe put you on hold while it was busy “updating drivers…”

    1. The trouble is with the batteries. Until they make doors that have electricity running through them, eventually your electronic door lock is going to run out of juice (faster so in cold climates).

      I do LOVE my NEST though, and it has saved me a lot of money. Its also just very cool =)

  4. I can see you!

    Aside from that, tech is a tool and sometimes you’re the one holding it, sometimes it’s someone else. I prefer to think of all the free time it’s provided to me and money it’s saved. Youtube and Google have replaced school/books right?

    Now, cookies are different. Cookies and geolocation are freaky. Your search history gets applied to where you are. So if I just search restaurant in another town, it classes em based on previous searches.

    1. Yeah, and I feel really bad for some companies. I do business with one and googled something about them, and then for a week all my ads were about that company. I clicked on one to see where it would take me, and then I realized that they just had to pay for that (I’m not sure if they pay on views or clicks, either way).

      Since I already do business with them that week of ads would have been better spent on something else. Not so smart all the time, are they? =)

      (PS – can you really see me? did you take control of my webcam?)

      (PSS – I was kidding about the PS. Mostly.)

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