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A Cyber Elf On The Shelf June 9, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Less IS More, People.

Ringling Museum 006bI don’t do much shopping on-line (or at brick and mortar stores).

When I do, I’ve noticed products stalking me in sidebars.  It’s like having a Cyber Elf on the Shelf peering over my shoulder monitoring my every move.

I don’t appreciate it.

That type of constant intrusion is one reason I closed my FB account.

And why I won’t buy a smart phone.

And why I don’t shop at grocery stores that require shoppers to use a Savings Card to take advantage of Weekly Specials.

IMGP1786bI don’t want grocery stores, Cyber Elves, Ma Bell, or Big Brother tracking my purchases.

I don’t need creepy cyber clowns or Homeland Security agents to keep tabs on my whereabouts.

As long as I know where I am and what I’m doing, that’s enough!

And, now, while Big Brother is watching you, I’m going to make a run for it!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Stalked By Facial Recognition Doohickeys (Coffee Kat)




1. Jill Weatherholt - June 9, 2016

I don’t have a smart phone for that very reason, Nancy. Plus, I don’t want to be connected 24-7. I have real issues with the smart phone obsession….but that’s another post! 🙂

nrhatch - June 9, 2016

Smart phones encourage people to look things up instead of thinking them through. And to look “out there” for guidance instead of looking within. I can almost hear brain synapses shrinking as smart phone users scroll merrily along.

I love being “off line” . . . all I have to do is step away from my desk.

Jill Weatherholt - June 9, 2016

Me too! 🙂

2. Under the Oaks - June 9, 2016

I agree about the ads! I do enjoy my smarter than me phone but we are not married. I still have a life even though I have a phone… 😀

nrhatch - June 9, 2016

That’s because you iz smart, Pix!

3. Ally Bean - June 9, 2016

I just got my first smart phone over the weekend. I can see that it does many things, but I cannot figure out why I’d want it to do those things. I just need a phone. The camera may turn out to be nice, but I’d rather be in the moment I’m in now, not staring at a screen.

nrhatch - June 9, 2016

Good luck with your new phone, Ally. If I spent more time on the go, traveling from hither to yon, a smart phone might be an asset. For now, I’ll stay with my flip phone.

Ally Bean - June 9, 2016

I liked my flip phone, but realized I was inconveniencing other people who needed to get in touch with me from time-to-time. So now I’ve got one. Oh joy!

nrhatch - June 9, 2016

When I bought my phone (way back in 2010), I asked VZ to block TEXTS ~ that has been an occasional inconvenience to the more TEXT-happy members of my family.

Too bad. They can always call, e-mail, or write.

4. Val Boyko - June 9, 2016

I can see both sides on this one Nancy. It really is a personal choice. I love my smart phone … And probably use about 30% of what it is capable of! It does keep me posted on work emails and I enjoy the WordPress app when I am away from my computer. 😎

nrhatch - June 9, 2016

Smart Phones can be a tool or a crutch ~> “It’s in the way that you use it.” For now, I’m happy NOT to have access to e-mails and WP when I’m not at my desk.

5. suzicate - June 9, 2016

Big Brother is doing their best to track our every move. In fact, I just read they admitted to tracking our browsing habits.

nrhatch - June 9, 2016

Not surprised to hear that, Suzicate. I envision an enormous data base tracking and storing reams and reams of bytes about each of us. And sophisticated hackers sneaking in to have a look see at records we’d rather keep private.

Shades of 1984 and Brave New World.

suzicate - June 9, 2016

My sister told me they built this huge warehouse on several acres in or near Atlanta that google uses for data storage. Scary if it’s true!

nrhatch - June 9, 2016

It’s probably true . . . those connards!

6. Kate Crimmins - June 9, 2016

I’ve gotten used to being stalked. I enjoy buying on-line rather than driving around finding stuff. I don’t use my smart phone for much more than the occasional text but it’s always there for emergencies. I’m not comfortable doing anything that requires money on it for fear of being hacked.

nrhatch - June 9, 2016

I feel the same, Kate. I don’t know enough about cyber security and technology to feel safe about using a Smart Phone to deposit checks, access bank records, or pay bills.

Maybe I need to hire an IT guy?

Kate Crimmins - June 9, 2016

I use my desk top for all things that require security. There is no bill important enough that needs to be paid when I’m away from my house.

nrhatch - June 9, 2016

Unless we sell this place and move into an RV / Boat full-time, I don’t plan to use any banking apps on a Smart Phone.

7. anotherday2paradise - June 9, 2016

I find all the pop-ups are really annoying. I think George Orwell’s prophecies in ‘1984’ have come true. Big Brother Elf is definitely watching everything we do. 😯

nrhatch - June 9, 2016

Especially pop-ups that don’t have a little “x” in the corner so they can be closed as soon as they pop up.

When a pop up appears as soon as I do, I leave.

8. earnestlydebra - June 9, 2016

I am so OVER commercial advertising. It’s become a constant annoyance – even news tells us what “everyone is buying” next. I’m glad to hear others are choosing to boycott. My boycotts also include facebook, pinterest, and any every site that immediately asks for my email address. I’m also sick of celebrity endorsements… as if their experience in any way reflects my own.

nrhatch - June 9, 2016

The advertising bombardment used to be centered around the holidays, but now it is a relentless onslaught of BUY THIS NOW!!! for a full 12 months each year.

In my book, “less is more.”

9. diannegray - June 9, 2016

It’s actually quite scary, Nancy. I was looking online to price a vacuum cleaner and now, whenever I go online, I’m getting stalked by vacuum companies. Yikes! 😦

nrhatch - June 9, 2016

I don’t care for the trend at all.

Especially when I look at something on line, decide not to buy it, and the company hounds me for days to “complete my purchase.” It’s like having a clerk chase me out of the store screaming, “STOP! STOP! COME BACK! YOU DIDN’T BUY ANYTHING YET!”

10. Barb - June 9, 2016

I have ad block loaded onto every device. It helps. I do love my phone. I used to spend hours looking for a kid, a husband or a friend when we were supposed to meet somewhere. It’s so handy to text and find out if they’re running late, they’re lost, or I’m at the wrong cafe to meet them.
Best of luck staying off the grid.

nrhatch - June 9, 2016

You sound more tech savvy than me, Barb. If we had kids, I expect we would be more inclined to text. When we’re running late, we just call and tell them.

Or leave a message if they are busy texting someone else. ; )

11. Carol Ferenc - June 9, 2016

Your Cyber Elf on the Shelf analogy is so fitting, Nancy. Facebook is the worst! If it weren’t for my sister and my cousin, I’d be outta there!

nrhatch - June 10, 2016

If FB provides an active line of communication with people of import to you, hang in there . . . at least until you find a better way to “stay in touch.”

I closed my account because our nieces, nephews, siblings, and close friends posted infrequently. Instead of forging stronger connections with them, my visits involved scrolling through unnecessary info from far flung people ~ a big chunk of time exchanged for the occasional “nugget.” So, seeing little return on my investment of time and energy, I decided to stop prospecting for gold in “them thar hills.”

Carol Ferenc - June 10, 2016

Exactly! I’ve purposely kept my “friend” count low for the same reason.

nrhatch - June 10, 2016

That will pay dividends for you.

12. Bun Karyudo - June 10, 2016

It is noticeable that I’ll search for something related to a post I’m working on, for example, something about graffiti. Before I know it, I’m being shown ads all over the place about special offers on markers and spray paint.

nrhatch - June 11, 2016


Big Brother didn’t appreciate your comment as much as I did, Bun. It tossed it into the Spammer Slammer . . . along with some markers and spray paint.

Bun Karyudo - June 11, 2016

Oh no, looks like my blog is back to this nonsense again, sending every second comment I write into somebody else’s spam folder. Oh woe is me! Oh lamentations! 😦

nrhatch - June 11, 2016

Don’t forget to wail and gnash your teeth . . . otherwise the cyber police won’t think they’ve upset you enough yet!

I’ll keep an eye on my Spam folder and spring you asap.

13. L. Marie - June 10, 2016

The ads are extremely intrusive. 😦 I love the ad blocker!
I’m on Facebook, but very rarely. And I try not to check Facebook or email on my phone. Though I have a smartphone, I’m trying not to overuse it. That’s why I refused to sign up for social media that demands the use of a smartphone.

nrhatch - June 10, 2016

Smart thinking on the Smart Phone, Linda. I’ve seen so many people become slaves to their phones . . . instead of using them as tools.

14. livelytwist - June 10, 2016

All those pop-ups that suggest what you might like…. aargh!

nrhatch - June 10, 2016

Exactly. Like I’m looking to “them” for advice.

15. Tiny - June 10, 2016

I love my smartphone, and never see any ads there like I do on the computer. But it is annoying when what you look up or buy follows you. My hubby bought a bag for me one year for birthday and the weeks following his purchase he saw women’s handbags on every page he browsed 🙂

nrhatch - June 10, 2016

It’s not ads on Smart Phones that would bother me . . . I don’t want a tracking device in my back pocket:


Tiny - June 11, 2016

I did read this, but I never enable my location services, the iPhone asks for it every now and then, but it’s a no 🙂

nrhatch - June 11, 2016

I block access at my PC too, but I expect that the location of my PC is not really “hidden” and feel the same about Smart Phones. So, for now, I’ll walk around without a GPS chip in my back pocket.

16. Debra - June 12, 2016

I think you’re probably a lot wiser than I am on this, Nancy. I’m afraid by now I have quite a thick file somewhere. I hope I never have a serious reason to regret it…it crosses my mind!

nrhatch - June 13, 2016

I expect most cyber files are like e-mails we save in folders on the computer ~> they’re never accessed again. But until I “need” a Smart Phone, I’ll let Big Brother track the folks who are more plugged in than me.

17. beeblu - June 17, 2016

I used to feel the same way as you, but I’ve given up worrying about it. They don’t seem to use the information very intelligently anyway. I keep getting ads for incontinence pads on my FB feed, but I’ve never looked up the subject, so I assume it’s purely based on my age – dumbasses.

nrhatch - June 17, 2016

And that’s what annoys me ~> why should the fine purveyors of incontinence pads be privy to your age at all?

We are subject to constant intrusion and sharing of private data (age, date of birth, health conditions, etc.) due to cyber sleuthing and collection points. Oh, what a tangled web the internet weaves . . .

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