This Is Scary

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 052018

We have all heard and used the term “Big Brother is watching” more than once. And while I’m not a conspiracy theorist, sometimes it’s scary just how much of what we do seems to be monitored by somebody, somewhere.

All of us have had the experience of looking at something on the Internet and then seeing ads for it pop up the next time we log on. For example, I’ve been thinking about buying myself a Ford Mustang and I’ve looked at several of them online. Now when I open my email or go to a website or blog, I see ads for Ford dealers and Mustangs. That’s just part of the Internet experience, right?

But somebody explain this one to me if you can. A few days ago we were in an antique shop in St. Augustine, Florida and I saw a beautiful wooden airplane propeller for sale. I’m not sure what kind of aircraft it came from, but it was about six feet long and was polished to a high gloss. I told Miss Terry that it would look perfect hanging in my office. I also inquired about the price for it from the lady working behind the counter.

And that’s all I did. I didn’t go online and research airplane propellers. I didn’t email anybody and say I was looking at an airplane propeller. I didn’t mention an airplane propeller on Facebook or Twitter or anything like that. I didn’t take a picture of the propeller with my phone. I simply admired it, made a couple of comments, and moved on.

When I used my phone to check my email an hour or so later, guess what I had ads for? That’s right, airplane propellers! There was an ad listing four or five of them on eBay, and a couple of other ads for propellers and propeller repair. And later that evening, when we got home, I had more pop-up ads for airplane propellers. How does that happen?

I don’t really believe the government or the people selling stuff online are actually monitoring my conversations, and I don’t think they implanted a microchip in me at some point in time. Or did they? But seriously, I have no idea how or why this happened. Somebody might say it was a coincidence, but do you really believe that? I don’t think I do. Especially since the ads are still popping up every now and then when I go online.
I guess the moral of the story is, be careful what you say and do. We all know that Big Brother is watching, but maybe we don’t know carefully he is doing it.

Congratulations Larry Merritt, winner of our drawing for an audiobook of Going Home With A Cat And A Ghost by RVing author Judy Howard. We had 34 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.

Thought For The Day – I don’t run. So if you see me running, you had better run, too, because something really mean is coming!

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  13 Responses to “This Is Scary”

  1. It’s your cell phone that is spying on you…
    When you asked about the propeller, the store person looked it up in their system, your cell phone information was read and you benefited from the gracious reminders that you admired it. Intrusive much???

  2. Very simple somewhere on your iPhone you downloaded an app and that is part of your agreement to use that app they do listen how are you how areit in it’s like Alex it picks up words
    It’s the same way if you go into abracadabra gift shop and when you walk out your phone want you to rate it
    Big brother is not watching you Google his
    Now all you have to do is figure out the app that you downloaded
    If you want to search the Internet you need to do it anonymously the only way you’re going to do that is DuckDuckGo it is a search engine that does not track you. you download it as an app

  3. I’ve read about experiments done by people with results just like yours…

    I disarmed the facebook app on my smart phone, I can’t remove it so I did what I could. But the smart phone still listens to everything said around me…

    Who knew that “Big Brother” would turn out to be not just the government (NSA) listening & watching but private companies like Facebook, Google & Apple.

  4. Mr. Ed is right … Google can monitor your conversations through your phone. Pretty scary actually. It’s happened to me several times. If I knew which app it was, I would definitely delete it!!!

  5. Nick, sounds like you have “location services” turned on your phone, maybe google or one of your Apps following you for marketing purposes. I am pretty sure you can disable it in settings.


  6. Did you say to Terry “I like that airplane propellor?”. She could actually be a double agent!

  7. Has Miss Terry discovered you’re a cash cow for earning commissions by posting your every wish online? As you said, be careful what you wish for.

  8. This has happened to me too. It’s freaky. I was at a business/marketing conference last month and there was a national social media expert speaker. He owns an advertising agency in New York City. He said he’s been trying to figure this out too, but it sounds like some of your other readers are onto some probable theories.

  9. One word. “Facebook”. If you have the Facebook app on your phone or computer then it’s very likely that they are listening to you in order to gain market data. Amazing isn’t it. It’s just wrong.

  10. I don’t have an iPhone, but I do get reminders to rate a place when I’m there sometimes. A guy having an affair could get into real trouble. 🙂

  11. The app that you loaded probably has a feature from Add. Sense
    What it does it act like Siri and Alex only it listens but not answers
    And it’s designed to target certain words in your case probably propeller
    So what you want to do, is shut your microphone off
    That way the app cannot hear or listen

    Go to settings >privacy
    and you could turn off apps ability to access the microphone

    Do you also have the ability to turn the GPS portion of follow me off as well otherwise you’ll scare yourself if you look at your GPS track
    As long as that feature is on and where ever you been since that feature is on you can backtrack yourself

  12. This has happened to me several times, and I don’t carry a cell phone. At all. I’ve even had it where I was THINKING about something, not a word uttered out loud, and there it was popping up in my ads. I know that sounds over the top, but it’s happened at least twice.

  13. I am guessing it is Google Assistant or Alexa or maybe even Bixby. Interesting story!

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