Does convenience come at a price?

Posted by: Anonymous

11th Oct 2019 03:36pm

I was recently looking something up for lunch with a co-worker, only to be sent an email by a food delivery company with a special promotion two minutes later. My immediate thoughts of “how convenient is this?!” turned to one of suspicion. Either the food delivery company timed their email to perfection and lucked out by sending to myself in my starving and desperate state, or they knew I was online browsing food options and acted accordingly.

Social media users are being proactive in facing their privacy concerns, with Facebook’s global market share dropping from 75.5% in December 2017 to 66.3% in October 2018 following the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal which occurred in early 2018. Many individuals from our Cafestudy community were able to recall specific examples of times where they’ve felt their privacy breached.

“Not only does it happen after conversations with people, but certain movements are also tracked... I have driven past a store and then later seen an ad pop up on Instagram or Facebook advertising that product/store.”

“On my computer, I do get ads that are clearly targeted based on my behaviour, and I find these intrusive and a subtle invasion of privacy.”


It is quite ironic how data privacy has become such a global issue, given how open social media users are in sharing their personal highs and lows with people who may be acquaintances or complete strangers.

"…in the old days when someone read your diary you got upset, now when someone doesn't read your post or make a comment you get upset."

As our attention span continues to shorten and scrolling lifelessly through our social media newsfeed becomes more of a daily or even hourly routine, marketers need to ensure they can get as much value out of their advertisements as possible. To put it into perspective, the average time spent on Facebook per visit is between 10-12 minutes at a time. Are the ads they are feeding us on point?

"I like to be righteous & say that I hate the social media ads but in fact I have purchased from them."

"In terms of the advertisements, I feel I have benefitted from them on countless occasions"

Allowing applications access to our microphone has enabled us to do things that have been previously unheard of, such as livestreaming videos from a mobile phone to social media or the “Live Listen” feature for iPhones. However, in return for the use of these applications or free social media platforms, we create a digital profile that is as good as gold to marketers. We need to embrace that we now live in a data-driven world and be careful of who we share our data with. Does convenience come at a price? Of course it does.

Comments 1

  • 23rd Oct 2019 05:46am

If you stay logged in to anything... gmail, google, FB, twitter... you will be targetted. You will get ads anyway, it's just whether they are relevant or not.