The haunting words of Gordon Lightfoot’s IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND may be the best background for this story.. conjuring the imagination of his ghostly song coupled with technology piercing the safety nets of our mind.. and going deep into brains to predict what we will want. What we will buy.. what we will…think?
As this post is written, a LONG day is wrapping up. For some weird reason, this particular Saturday felt like the longest day that ever existed.. Maybe the snowy landscape and bone chilling temperatures.. Who knows.
I think it was hour number 5,000 of the day when I was just bored in the chair looking through stupid TikTok videos, one after the other. After the other.. And so on. People falling. Political content. Old ladies screaming. Ice storms and people slipping. Weird stuff and so on. Everyone’s for you page is different. That’s a peak at mine.
This is where the weirdness started.
In my brain, a voice said “it’s been a long time since you saw TikTok videos about Michael Myers and Halloween”.. No verbal output occurred, here, it was just an internalized passing thought. A blip on the brain wave radar.. It just popped into my brain, and I remembered rationalizing it by saying that ‘Halloween is over and of course I will not be seeing videos like that on the for me page’ for a while..
About a good solid minute later this video now pops up on the for you page:
First of all, great great video. Pure nostalgia and 1980s glory and all that..
But wait.. HALLOWEEN!? Just when moments earlier the idea of a Halloween video was crossing the brain and being dismissed due to the time of the year..
I completely got the chills and gave me a very bizarre feeling.
And it just started more thoughts to roll. Do you have this occur? Does this happen when you talk about things–we all know ads pop up a little bit after we search things or talk about them.. but how often do you actually have something on tech occur after you simply THINK about it?
Is there some algorithm that certain videos trigger people searching for other things? Or perhaps this was just all weird and random coincidence ..
Controversy about TikTok’s (and other social media platforms) algorithms have be been in the news for years. Most of those have revolved around the kids not being alright, teens with angst getting a perverted sense of purpose and meaning after diving too deep into rabbit holes.
Advertising clearly goes hand in hand with things you search and like. TikTok was accused of privacy violations recently. Others have accused social media platforms of monitoring heart rates and eye movements when viewing Apps. Sounds ridiculous, right? Conspiracy silly theory?
Oh what what’s this?
Back to mind reading..
Think it.. see it.
When it happens it’s weird.. But it does not feel real.. natural. It has no meaningful or paranormal context.. Instead it has a creepy and artificial feeling. You get an immediate impression that you’re a test subject, a spoke on a wheel. Nothing of it feels right, instead you just want to escape this hellscape that the future may be bringing us.