8am: Woke up and scrolled through my Instagram account and explore page. My instagram is private and I noticed that I had a few new follow requests. I went to their pages to see how they were. I realized that I don’t know any of the people trying to follow me and most of them looked like spam accounts where they were private themselves and had basically no followers. I was going to accept their requests but then realized it’s silly to have my account on private if I’m just going to accept anyones request.
12pm: Went on Youtube and scrolled my subscriptions and also the homepage. I noticed a recent change in the algorithm and my recommended videos. I work at a veterinary clinic as a receptionist and have been doing a lot of technician training. Recently, I found myself you-tubing How to videos for canine and feline blood draws. I watched a few videos and found myself in a hole of watching veterinarian videos where they do demonstrations on things like blood draws, nail trims, placing catheters, etc. When I went on Youtube recently after that, I found that almost half of my homepage was filled with veterinarian or animal videos when it never has been before.
2pm: I’ve been looking online for some outerwear outfits since I will be going to Flagstaff next weekend and I need clothes for the cold, like actual outerwear jackets which I don’t really own. I’ve been searching on Amazon and other online realtors. Since instagram now has a shopping option on the app, I’ve been looking at different outerwear brands on there as well. Since then, I’ve had The North Face, and Patagonia ads pop up on my feed as recommended shopping sites. I’ve also been searching on the internet for cool places/restaurants/bars to visit in Flagstaff and my instagram explore page is full of Flagstaff related videos. I was googling on safari, not even Instagram, it is completely unrelated but I am somehow getting these posts on my feed and I don’t think its a coincidence.
10pm: After eating some take out food my boyfriend and I were laying down saying how nauseous we felt from what we had eaten. As we were watching TV we got an advertisement for Pepto-Bismol right after saying we were nauseous and not feeling well. We joked around that the TV was listening to us. (who knows).
After looking back on this 24 hours media diary and really focusing on the kind of information and data that I engage with and provide in a regular day, I’m kind of shocked and weirded out. It’s one thing to go through the day and not think about the algorithms or targeted ads, but it’s another thing to keep a log and diary of everything that I engaged with and then what was targeted for me and connect the dots. It’s weird to think about how much this technology and formulas for algorithms basically know who I am and what I engage with.