Your Phone is Listening and it’s Not All Bad

Differing opinions is nothing new to the world. For generations, people have firmly dug in opposite of one another for a multitude of things. Some people prefer pizza, others prefer pasta. Some people like the beach, others prefer the mountains. Some people are dog people, others are assholes.

I am taking such a side in this piece, though it is one I am sure will be a lonely side of the fence: our phones stalking us is…not that bad. I know, I know, “BUT PRIVACY.” Easy does it, guy on House Hunters who is always looking for a “private backyard” because “look, all the neighbors can just watch me grilling and I don’t like that.” Relax, Paul from Tulsa, no one gives a shit that you’re grilling burgers on Sunday afternoon. It’s not that interesting, and if it is, you’re definitely doing something wrong.

Credit: Daily Mail

My wife gets absolutely irate every time she sees a relevant ad on her phone. Just the other day, she slapped her hands down on the table like Jon Taffer when he finds a fruit fly colony, and said, “my phone is showing ads for Chewy!”

Like an ignorant husband, I said, “so?”

She replied, “you and I were just talking about how we needed to go buy dog food!”

Again, not understanding how context clues work, I ask again, “so?”

“My damn phone is listening to us talk and that is not OK.”

Finally, I keep my mouth shut, but I think to myself how we do in fact need dog food. It is not like I am getting inundated with used accordions on LetGo (Well I wasn’t, but here goes); we actually needed dog food and our phones stepped up to the plate. It’s like standing in line at Home Goods and talking about wanting Mexican food, and Betsy with her Live, Laugh, Love sign in line behind you butts in with a suggestion. Is it Betsy’s place to interject? Absolutely not, but I’ll be damned if I don’t forgive her when those pambazos slap.

Another win for your devices creeping on you is if you occasionally drink too much — which I have no experience in but have heard of before in cinema. I know of a guy, let’s call him Michael, who got pretty intoxicated recently and woke up trying to piece together his life. He logs onto his phone to find ads everywhere for Domino’s. Curious, he thought. There was not a slew of Domino’s ads on his phone the day prior.

So Michael, again a totally hypothetical Michael and in no way indicative of my his real name, asks his wife out of curiosity, “honey, when is the last time we’ve had Domino’s?”

“I don’t know,” she responds. “But last night, you wouldn’t shut the hell up about ordering it, and then you just fell asleep.”

AHA! Like Sherlock f****** Holmes for THREE with that investigative skill by Michael. See? Yet another reason the over-the-shoulder-breath-on-your-ear-asking-if-you’re-going-to-finish-that-last-bite-of-your-Quiznos-sub nature of our technology is benefitting us. It is helping drunks piece together life one broken memory at a time. You have to think, if Jesse and Chester had these capabilities, we would’ve had a much shorter film.

For my final point on the matter, I refer you to a film that is likely to make you throw your phone down a well.

A little spooky, right? Well, that’s kind of the point. Did you see the stone-cold “I could watch my own grandmother light on fire and feel nothing” look in Mark Zuckerberg’s eyes in that clip? You think Zuckerberg cares if you feel weirded out about this “so-called conspiracy?” Hell no. Ole Facemash inventor Zuck wouldn’t care if you knew his companies listened in, because he knows our dumbasses will be angry for a second and then go right back to writing paragraphs about our political views to divide our families.

That’s the point: they don’t care and there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s sort of like how Chick-Fil-A allegedly has repressive views on homosexuality, but their food is so delicious. Those spotted cow bastards know we cannot help ourselves, regardless of belief system. I could walk in there tomorrow and the cashier could point to me and say, “you want everything on the menu you lil’ piggie? Yeah, I’m sure you do, because you’re a little fat boy, aren’t ya?” If that happens at Jersey Mikes, I am throwing hands, Super Troopers style. But at Chick-Fil-A? I will just look them right in the eye and say, “you’re f****** rude….but give me a No. 1 with a Coke.”

Realizing there is nothing you can do and leaning into the inevitable is one of the more soothing things of adulthood. Single guy moves in with his bride and doesn’t get to keep a single thing hanging up on his wall? Inevitable. Going to a high school reunion and seeing a guy with hair plugs and a Bentley he clearly rented? Inevitable. Having billion- and trillion-dollar companies stalk your browsing and your verbal conversations waiting for the opportunity to sell that information to greedy Fortune 500 companies? In-ev-it-a-ble.

So just sit back, relax, have a slice of pizza, and..oh wait..I still need dog food.

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