Trina Machacek: Undercurrents of information
It doesn’t matter where I saw this, but there was a blurb regarding companies that collect information about us all. The deal was that a woman asked for her report from one of these companies and she got, like, 478 pages all about her and her life. Where she lived, worked and played. What she did while she lived, worked and played. What she bought to facilitate life as she lived, worked, and played. Now, there are two ways to go here. You can get all hot and bothered about this or you can let this knowledge run off you like water on a duck’s back. Me? Well, I, of course, take the duck-and-cover route. That is to say I do both. Of course, there is something in me that gets all head up and indignant about my traits and trails being followed, but! Yes, an information-stuffed “but.” But it is so much easier on my psyche to spend my energy battling things I can see and actually do something about. However…
As the day wore on, I got to thinking about all the information that could have been collected about me in the past, let’s say decade. That’s 10 years. The information age has been coming at us all at a speed faster than a speeding byte for some time, but the real dig down and get every tidbit might have gotten very strong and informative in the past decade or so.
My report might list that I like to buy popcorn, I haven’t added to any big charitable organizations other than some local things, I don’t travel outside my comfort zone or the United States for that matter. My mother-in-law had me buying some older-lady needs, so that might show up and make me seem to be in need of a “home” sooner than I think I will need one. Ha, ha. It would show that I buy my gas at the same station, use one store for my tire needs and have started to buy my pet food online because I saw the commercial about only carrying the sacks once instead of from the store to the car, to the house, to the cat. Now I only carry it from the UPS guy to the house to the cat. Hey, now! I’m still carrying those sacks more than once. Chock up another untruth in advertising!
As I began to think about writing about this information gathering system, I gave thought to me getting my “report.” But I got over it. I’m of the school of thought that if I don’t really do anything spectacular or weird or too wrong, why I should really care if, in some huge glass tower of a building, my life is stored on chips in bits and bytes? I know people who will fight to the end of the stick about this. Their worrying is keeping me from worrying. So, thank you — you know who you are.
I actually did give some serious thought about getting that report. Then, I remembered this. You know the commercials that tell you to check your credit report? The ones that say it’s free! Free! Wahoo. Free! I was this close to checking to see what my score was. On the site, I read all the claims and advantages of seeing what my score was. Sounded all so very important and exciting.
I was all geared up to type and clickity-click. Right up until I was asked for some information that I won’t even tell myself out loud! Whoa there, Nellie. Pause. Breathe. What are you thinking? Why do you need to know this about yourself? If you have a good score, you don’t need to really know that there is some number around 847 attached to your happy self. And if your number is a touch low, you don’t need to know it because you aren’t going to buy something until you fix your life and then all things will fall into place automatically.
So no, I didn’t fall into that advertising miracle on that knowledge/information/judgmental procurement site. I’m not, however, immune to advertising-see the pet food reference above. I just found I can draw my own line when it comes to the inner sanctum of my soul. Soulful information. Hopefully, I still have enough brain cells floating around in my head to keep as much of my information to myself as I can.
I would, though, share my recipe for homemade Roquefort dressing, uh, but not for my clam dip.
Trina lives in Eureka, Nev. Find her on Facebook, Instagram or at email@example.com. Really!