I think everyone knows that Google and Facebook keep information stored about them, but to find out the extent of that information is truly enlightening. Google had much less information about me than Facebook, but for the most part the information they did have was decently accurate. Facebook on the other hand, has much more information, some of which I knew such as my past messages and uploaded photos, but other content that I was unaware of such as detailed security information. It was rather interesting to explore what Google and Facebook consider my interests to be.
To Google, I am a 18-24 year-old female who speaks English. That is all correct, but what was truly interesting about Google's ad information was to see what Google considers my interests to be. Most of the interests Google identified made sense to me, if I wasn't actually interested I could understand why Google might think I am. A few however, I could not understand such as 'Parenting', 'Rock Music', and 'Urban and Hip Hop'. In my memory I can't remember searching much about either of those topics, but they still appeared in my interests according to Google. That makes me curious as to how they ended up there.
Facebook, as I mentioned before, had much more saved information on me than Google. Most of these weren't that interesting to me, because of course I am aware of what photos and videos I have uploaded to Facebook. What I did find interesting was looking at what Facebook considers my ads topics. The list of topics was rather long, and also rather specific. While some of the topics I could definitely identify with, others seemed to be things that I may have only clicked on once, yet it still ended up as an ads topic for me. Facebook also keeps a record of which ads you've clicked which consisted of actual page's posts as well as the advertisements on the side of the page. I find it interesting that Facebook considers pages you've liked as sources of ads.
This assignment makes it clearer that one must be careful with what they share on the internet, because it is likely to be stored somewhere forever. I am lucky enough to not have posted anything incriminating before, but there are others who have. Most people are aware that they shouldn't post certain details of their life on the internet but I think this assignment points out just how much information is stored on you and why you should be careful of what you post. I myself, will probably not change the way I interact with the internet much, because everything I found between Google and Facebook I was mostly aware of already. There are people however, who post to much about themselves that may think it wiser to put less information out there about themselves. It was interesting to see how Google and Facebook advertise to me, put I don't think this is too much of a problem. There will always be advertisements no matter what media you consume, so it doesn't bother me that internet advertisements are just more specific to what I like.