In the past few months, I have noticed that I get regular notices on my telephone from Google regarding traffic situations on the road on which I am traveling. When it first happened, I was driving on I-36, AKA the Boulder Turnpike, heading towards Estes Park. As I was dodging construction equipment resulting from a road construction project that has been going on for about 25 years, my phone dinked, alerting me of a message. Soon thereafter, I was forced to come to a dead stop, so I checked my message. Google was informing me that there was road construction on the Turnpike and I would be delayed by 15-20 minutes.
It, quite frankly, creeped me out. How did my phone know where I was? I concluded that I must have at some point turned on some sort of GPS tracking system, justifying it by assuring myself that by doing so, Google would be able to help me find my phone should I lose it or it gets stolen. As if anyone steals phones that aren’t IPhones.
Anyhoo, since then, I have been getting regular traffic alerts. Mostly they come long after I have figured it out myself, but sometimes they come in advance. The thing is I don’t check messages when I’m driving, so by time I see the message about the traffic situation, I’m usually already there.
Like everyone else, I am getting used to the fact that Google and Amazon and Facebook know more about my life than I know myself. Still, something interesting has been happening in the past couple of weeks. I have been getting alerts telling me it will take me 14 minutes (or however many minutes) to get to work.
I find that really interesting because I haven’t had a job since November of 2007. I wonder where Google thinks I work?
When the message appeared yesterday, I finally investigated further. Apparently Google believes I work in a mostly retail area in south Denver called Streets of Southglenn.
Now, my son works in an office building at the Streets of Southglenn. It’s true I regularly drive there to meet him for lunch. Maybe once a week or so. Apparently Google doesn’t think I work very hard since I only go there once a week.
But, the thing is, I drive a lot of places regularly. I drive to Mass every Sunday. I visit the library once a week or so. I go to the grocery store almost every day. Why did Google decide I work at Streets of Southglenn? I wonder what they think I do for a living?
I could be a food server at Snooze Restaurant. I might work in the automotive department at Sears. Maybe I’m a lingerie model at Victoria’s Secret. Perhaps I dish out ice cream at Dairy Queen.
It’s only going to get creepier my friends.
Have you had any experiences with technology that have made you sit up and take notice?
By the way, God is apparently a Bronco’s fan because take a look at this sunrise taken from our upstairs bathroom window….