Capping Personalization at What the Baker in Me Wants.
Personalization is a buzzword that has been doing the rounds for a while now. Marketers love it. Businesses adopt it. Customers are wary of it.
Many a times, I have been pleasantly surprised to come across an article suggestion in my feed after having recently researched on a similar topic. Many at times, the suggestions have proved useful too.
But, it can get creepy. And then you begin to wonder how much these guys know about you and your habits.
Are they sneaking up on me constantly?
Privacy concerns and paranoia apart, is personalization actually good for us?
What if I want more than/don’t want what these recommendation engines are pushing down my throat.
Let’s look at Facebook, for instance.
In my FB feed, I get to see what my friends have posted or shared. Limited, I say. If I happen to click/read/like a sponsored link or page, I will see more of such items in future. The personalization demon has decided what I should read everyday. And because I see it over and over in my feed, I may devour it again and the demon is reinstated in its belief.
It’s a vicious circle.
If you are a social introvert like me with very few friends, this could seriously curtail the variety of articles you get to read. If you happen to like a baking tip, you could be restricted to baking recipes for the rest of your FB life.
Every online medium that uses recommendation engines is guilty of this, not just Facebook.
The situation is very similar to the specialized treatment we receive in hospitals. Earlier, we had physicians who treated human beings holistically. Nowadays, super specialists treat eyes, bones, nerves, kidneys, or ever cancer cells, never the person behind it.
So, isn’t better to put a cap on personalization. Personalize, but not to the extend of cutting the person off from everything else. The human race needs to maintain a holistic outlook. Even the baker in me wants to know about Trump’s latest tweet on ObamaCare!