Updated: Apr 11, 2021
I would like to post here a dare. Look into your Facebook newsfeed and count how many female stereotypical adds you can count? Ads for beauty products, cleaning products, yoga pants, weightless programs...Isn't our monkey mind active enough with thoughts , even without subconsciously telling it every day : '' you need to loose weight...here are some nice yoga pants, that make your butt look smaller'' or '' you are getting older, here is a a cream which gives you the false hope you can stop the clock''.
Meanwhile, catching a look on my husband's social media I see the following titles : '' google.com domain registered today 23 years ago' '' or ''Read the first AI created essay'' . This is when I realized that social media advertising is only deepening the knowledge gap and adaptability to digital and tech between men and women. Is it fair to think that men will always be one step ahead just because they are targeted by more information rich ads vs women? Or to think that one search on google that you do for ''ombre hairstyle'' can haunt you for the rest of your life and social media algorithms will recommend only thought limiting topics? While men, for a search in the google bar '' best smartphone 2020'' are rewarded with thought provoking topics in their newsfeed afterwards.
Why is this all this happening? Social media and search engines work on targeting and cookies. What does this mean? Targeting is how an add reaches a potential customer and cookies are small tags filled with information about your searches, that are used by companies for a better targeting. So, when you search the words '' Ombre hairstyle'' in your google bar - Google already makes you a portrait ( he has probably your name and e-mail address because on the same phone or computer you are connected to an e-mail account, he has your address because he can identify it through your internet connection, and based on your other settings he might know much more about you : occupation - if you logged it into Facebook for ex) , so now he knows you are also ready to make a style change because of what you are searching ( ombre hairstyle) and saving it into a cookie. So next time you open Google or Facebook - based on what they know about you...do you think they will send you an article on how Elon Musk wants to reach Mars? no, you will receive an ad to a hair salon nearby or an article ''how to make your hair look good in summer'' - and from here a never ending spiral.
So you will ask...then is it enough to search for '' How will Elon Musk launch the rocket to Mars'' to break the spiral? Actually not...and this is due to how online advertising works...companies define their target audience based on demographics first, and then they use the cookies to be more precise. So if you are a woman , between 20-49 years old, living in San Francisco, no matter what you search for - you will still get the adds for the L'Oreal Anti Cellulite Cream, because the company paid Google or Facebook for you to see it.
So how can we break the spiral? There are a few options actually:
try to avoid the temptation to click baits, so you don't feed the spiral even more and look into content filled topics, like the ones on this blog. Plus it will save you so much time you waste procrastinating.
use the incognito mode. It is a setting you can do when you start browsing. - it will prevent companies from storing cookies, but Google will still have the information about your searches. More about how to activate it and the pros and cons some other time.
Use Seva as a search engine. It is a new search engine that can nicely replace google and has a strong charity story behind. More about soon.
But some changes are on the horizon...that might push some drastic changes. Google has a plan to eliminate third-party cookies from its Chrome browser by 2022. This is bad for all advertisers, but it's great for Google which does not rely on third-party cookies to power its massive ad business. So the spiral will not be stopped but powered only by google instead. All you can do is proactively search for tech content.
Hoping that this was a tech news that you wanted to hear, I wish you to stay curious till next time!