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When following becomes stalking

In the age of social media pretty much everything is out there. While, for many people, this is a wary prospect far more people are driven by the fact that what they post will be seen by many people. Mostly friends, of course.

Hence all the pictures of babies, pets, food and check ins at cafes, restaurants, hotels and occasionally work places.

A measure of success of one’s posts is the number of ‘likes’, ‘favourites’ or ‘retweets’.

The ultimate metric of course is the number of followers or subscribers.

I imagine it is the price/consequence of being active in sharing your content.

However, there’s a breed of following that I find very eerie and borders on invasion.

I have known it exists but when it happens to you is when the penny drops.

I was on some global news site, perhaps CNN, and there was a banner ad for a brand from Kenya. At first i thought ‘ that’s interesting’.

But over time it seems that no matter where I go, there’s the ad.

Now I know some smart digital marketer is saying we’re doing targetted advertising by tracking people by their IP address AND anyway the brand only needs to pay if the viewer clicks on the banner. This is great to tell a client about how clever the agency is.

However, from a customer point of view it has now become stalking. And that, I know, is very unpleasant and irritating.

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Won’t be long before another law will have to be passed that bans ‘ follow me’ advertising. Advertisers are doing themselves a huge disfavour by allowing, and even encouraging such practices that uses the technology, but for short term gains.

Just my opinion of course.

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