There's something that really irks me about how a lot of things are done these days, particularly on the Internet. (Well, a lot of things about the Internet irk me, but they're not the point right now.) What the point right now is, however, is that I can't stand always having stuff "suggested" for me.

I mean... I know the whole thing about marketing, making money, the Internet, blah blah blah. I know we can't really blame people for trying to push their stuff. Maybe I'd just rather get more junk mail than have things being "suggested for you" pretty much everywhere I go. (I'll probably regret that statement I just made about junk mail, but there's always getting new e.mail accounts.)

The thing about having "suggested for you" is that the stuff doesn't come in as junk mail. It comes from the places we choose to do business, or at least sign up with; so I'd kind of like to feel like there's a certain amount of trust as far as being a customer or member goes. I know there's no real harm in seeing suggestions that I'm inevitably going to ignore; but it just bugs me.

Maybe other people actually take the bait when they get a "suggested for you" thing. I don't. No matter what business or site or anything else it is, I don't think I've ever taken anyone up on suggestions; because the suggestions are about as far from "me" as they could be. Don't suggest reading for me. Don't suggest products - particularly when I just bought, say, a DVD player last week and am not likely to buying another one in the immediate future. Where is the reasoning in that approach anyway???? (and before I go on let me make it clear and public that I did NOT buy a DVD player last week or even last year).

Maybe I wouldn't mind if - out of the blue - I got an e.mail "suggesting" I buy a DVD player because some marketing "spy" figured out that I have not, in fact, purchased a DVD player in over x number of years. At least a) that would make sense, and b) it would come in the form of junk mail out of the blue - not a company or other outfit that thinks it has a clue about suggesting stuff for me.

And, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, do not suggest reading for me. Whoever you are, trust me. You don't have a clue about what I want to, or plan to, read in the near future; because here's the thing: I go out, or online, looking for what I want or maybe even looking to find something I didn't realize I wanted. So, seeing an a never-ending run of "suggested for you's" that are only going to buy the heck out of me (and make me dislike you when I otherwise would like you) isn't the way I'll be interested in buying or signing up for anything. It just isn't.

Image: ME Whelan