I’m going window-shopping! Why should you care?

Because I hope to reduce what seems to be an ontological anxiety (and a spurt of paranoia) among too many people about the effects of the internet and its potential to brainwash us into believing what we don’t believe. That is, buying (into) things we don’t need or want.

Quite a number of sane friends of mine have expressed dark views of having their preferences snatched off the internet by forces of evil. Only the most troggy of my friends believe that along with their preferences, their identity, their soul and all their concomitant passwords for banking, etc. are being stolen.

No matter how often I give them the facts of internet life (nobody has stolen anything from me in all the decades I’ve been on line, just as I’ve never bought into a religious/political cult trying to sell me their wares on line), no matter how often I tell them how to construct unbeatable passwords…they remain in a state of pessimism.

As for me, I’m tickled when the vast internet quickly picks up what products I might currently be interested in when I search for a product I am interested in.

By golly, I’ve had other similar products flash themselves on my screen. The other day, I went into the web site of a hotel some of my family is staying in because I heard it was beautiful and I like gazing upon beautiful hotels. And it is indeed beautiful. The next day, I got a banner across one of my frequent sites offering a number of beautiful hotels for my reservation pleasure.

I enjoy looking at beautiful pictures of places I’m not going to, or of elegant linen clothing I’m not buying. I see it as window shopping. (I do love the flowered overalls someone has just pushed in my face but, no, not buying ’em.)

Yesterday I got an email from MhZ, the streaming service where I spend my TV time when I’m not watching football, MSNBC or movies on TCM. It’s a charming email, consoling me for being… well, here are MhZ’s precise words: “…odds are you are in the first stage of grief – denial!” because last night I watched the final episode of a 37-episode Italian cop show. (I’m not in denial; this is the second time I’ve watched the entire show. If I go through a sense of abandonment, I can always go back to the beginning and see the whole thing again.)

Instead of clutching my pearls because MhZ knows what I’m watching on its network, I love that it cares enough to give me a hug — while it suggests other series I might enjoy. Which I might watch or might not.

I’m pleased that a variety of good clothing companies know how much I appreciate linen, and how electrical supply companies will undoubtedly be online in touch tomorrow because I’ve been searching for a thin metal plate with which I can cover a hole in my kitchen, a hole where a 70 year old fuse box used to be. (I now have a 20-circuit circuit breaker.)

It’s great that a number of fine lighting companies are acutely aware I’m looking for a replacement for my lousy kitchen light, forever flickering; it means I don’t have to search through 80,000 Google hits before I go down to the Bowery to buy a new light.

And I will be spending some time today among my local hardware stores, one of which will definitely have something I can apply to the hole.

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