You know how gmail customizes the ads that you see next to your emails and chats? For the first few months of my stay in France, whenever Ian would email me, or I would email Ian, the ads would pop up as depression helplines, or Prozac coupons. Google looks into your chats and emails and pulls out keywords to see how to target you as a potential customer. I suppose if I started talking more about chocolate and designer shoes the ads might be more pleasurable.
When I logged on to gmail tonight after getting home from work, the ad up at the top of my screen read: "Ginger Spam Salad--serves 1, refrigerate overnight."
Serves one. Refrigerate overnight. Of course it serves one. Of course I would have to refrigerate it overnight. I'm home all the time, aren't I? The spam I can't really account for, except that my main gmail contact is a spam-loving Hawaiian. But Google has gone into my chats and my emails, and literally (figuratively? who knows how they actually do that) counted the number of times I have said "lonely" "alone" "home" "by myself" et cetera et cetera (possibly also "hungry." That one tends to pop up often).
For a brief, wild moment, I considered the benefits of starting to lie in gchats and gmails. You know, talk about going to NYC for the weekend, seeing Robert Pattinson or that Kim Kardashian chick at a nightclub. So that those Google employees think I have something better to do than sit at home for two nights, waiting for my ginger spam salad--serves 1--to be ready to eat. Sigh.