Would you be surprised to learn that I bought something off Amazon lately?

Would you be surprised to hear that my doorman receives over 100 packages every day, that he takes in deliveries about ten times a day?

A few years ago, my doorman would get one UPS delivery at about 4pm…with about ten packages…

Now- he starts getting packages at 8am…and he gets packages about every hour until 9pm…sometimes later…

I’m not the only one buying things on Amazon…

You can buy the game Monopoly on Amazon….or you get experience an actual monopoly by using it…and using it…and using it…

See the pictures that are somewhere here in the blog? That’s a postcard I received this week…

They’re offering me a 15$ Amazon gift card. All I have to do is rate a product Five Stars…

I am being asked to possibly lie about a product and receive compensation…

We all know that this happens.

We all know that the majority of reviews are lies…

And sometimes the lie is a Five Star lie- and sometimes it’s a one star lie…

But however you look at it, there are products that don’t deserve the rating that they have received on Amazon, and Amazon knows it.

That’s the thing about a monopoly: a monopoly knows that there are falsehoods being perpetuated, yet they can choose not to care…

Because everyone is going to listen to them anyway

Amazon is able to tell us anything it wants to.

It is also able to hide from us anything it wants to…

That’s pretty scary for a company that delivers movies and documentaries and other forms of visual media…

And publishes books…

Did you know that Amazon owns Goodreads…

IMDb

Whole Foods

Diapers.com

Wag.com

Shopbop

Zappos

Audible

Ring

Look at that PARTIAL list and think about how much of your life is controlled by Amazon…

And now think about what Amazon chooses to censor and what Amazon chooses not to censor…

Think about what Google chooses to censor and not censor…

Apple…

Facebook…

Microsoft…

Think about what these companies- clearly the monopolies choose what to highlight in the world, and choose what they want to cover up…

Every day we allow these companies to censor our everyday lives…

We allow them to tell us what to buy, what to watch, what to listen to…

They know what our habits are…

They know what we buy…

They know what drugs we use, how much alcohol we consume, which cookie is our favorite…

They are omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient…

You know, there are research studies that say if you have the omni trifecta you can be considered a God…

Have we decided that we do need religion after all and have chosen these companies to be the all seeing, all knowing, ever present deity that we so crave?

Google may have bought Fitbit yesterday -…

Every step you take, every move you make, I’ll be watching you…

Is that just a line from a song, a song that can be streamed via any of the companies that I listed above…

Or is that just a precursor to what our lives will be like…

Private companies can choose to say, or not say, anything they want…

They have the right to not allow something they don’t think is right,

Private companies have the ability to censor anything they want…

My question to you is-

Should companies as large as these, companies that have insinuated themselves into every facet of our lives really be considered Private Institutions?

Once private companies begin to have more control than the Government…shouldn’t we be just a little bit worried?

Because that is what is happening now…

We’ve given these companies literally everything they need to take over our lives…the virtual keys to the kingdom…

We have bent over…

Now what happens?

75 thoughts on “Google It

  1. Twothoughts…first technology is neither good or bad in and of itself, it’s who’s behind the levers, making decisions. that definitely concerns me. I’m not a Luddite, but you’ll never see (or hear) Alexia in mi casa.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s my thing….we are letting the powers that be at these companies choose what is and isn’t acceptable. They aren’t elected, we have no input as to who these people are…yet they are literally controlling the way information is distributed, or not, as the case may be. They could choose to censor any of us and any time by not allowing our emails to go through, our posts to be shown, our names coming up in searches. They can also choose to have the worst thing about us come up first in a google search…and there is nothing we can do about it. People are looking at the surface and not delving into what is happening and what it actually means. They could censor anyone of us at any time because they can

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I believe we do have a choice, but I would look more to the level of responsibility within that choice. I can embrace all things technology but I must then accept the overlords invading every aspect of my life, or I can pick and choose what I allow in and also be vigilant to monitor my needs versus wants as technology and it’s purveyor’s change and grow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think we have a choice anymore. And we’ve given them unprecedented ability to shut down anything they want to. We are so focused on what we see right in front of us that we are not looking at what surrounds it. You might not use Ring, but if your neighbor does? They have the ability to look at we very single key stroke we make. When you’re typing they even suggest what words we should use. We are impotent.

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  3. The use of algorithms in technology has even been harnessed by political parties – it’s all rather scary stuff. You’re right, we do not have real choice any longer. We are served up what big techno companies think we want – and mostly they’re right. Still, I don’t want my google searches modified to what the algorithm says. It’s all very worrisome. We’re living in very Orwellian times.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Great post LA. I used to think that I could just be selective about the information I put in on various websites etc but they’re all so integrated now and there are less options about doing certain things online (even pre-covid). For example I pretty much have to do all my banking online now because the nearest branch is so far away. Now with us being back in lockdown again here if I need to buy anything that’s not food I need to go online. Even if I’m not putting my details in to websites other people are – to send me e-cards or gifts or whatever. These big companies have all the power.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! It is Scary to realize how many companies Amazon owns. And while I dislike the thought of that.. right now I can’t live without the convenience.
    The problem is, that during a pandemic, people are in need of on line companies more than ever. Being in a high risk category I don’t go out unless it’s for doctor appointments. I have a shopper get my food and leave it at me door. I use Amazon for a plethora of other products, and I resort to the Home Shopping network for many items too. It’s been a blessing in disguise during this time of isolation to have the convenience and availability of Amazon . From printer ink to Benadryl, Amazon in 24 to 48 hours has been a life saver. Literally! While in chemo, when I broke out in my chemo rashes and needed new batches of cortisone cream and Benadryl I could get a refill delivered faster than my local drug store. AND at a more reasonable price! My cat food and cat litter is delivered by Amazon in 24 hours. I needed an oximeter, BP machine, and thermometer and bingo, within 24 hours great products, reasonably priced, with zero shipping costs because I have prime, and these items were delivered within 24 hours to my door AND IT IS RECORDED on my ring doorbell. (Which I had btw, before it was bought over by Amazon.). Amazon is Faster and cheaper than my local drug store. For someone in chemotherapy during a pandemic is it any wonder that I fell down the Amazon rabbit hole? When that UPS truck pulls up each day it’s like Christmas.

    I really don’t like that the mysterious tech universe knows that I love designers Orla Kiely and Diane Gilman, or that I don’t eat red meat, Or that I watch an abundance of British Mysteries. But, I do need to have home deliveries in a pandemic. My survival right now is more important than Big Brother. If I were in a different health situation I probably would have another point of view. But, not now. Not today. Right now, unfortunately, my survival depends on companies like Amazon. And so I’m grateful for them. I paid an exorbitant amount of money to have health care workers around the clock for two weeks after major surgery.( I literally could have paid a year’s tuition for one of my grandchildren). And Medicare doesn’t pay for someone to be there at 3 am when you can’t get out of bed yourself .) so quite honestly, if Amazon had emergency health care workers I’d probably use them too. Lol

    So for what it’s worth… sometimes during a world health crisis we make choices we might not do in other circumstances. It’s about individual priorities I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get it. I use Amazon as well for things I just can’t get anymore. But we need to be aware of all the things they control. All the companies they can and will own. I don’t have a problem with the thought of Amazon. I have a problem with anyone having too much power. They publish books. They produce movies. They have the ability to censor people. That’s my worry. Who is watching them? I just want people to be aware of how much these five or six companies control. They’re not going to advertise that

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      1. That’s a really good point. Hopefully in this new administration there will soon be laws that make it more difficult for certain corporations to have a such a huge monopoly. However, sadly, We are in a unique situation and at a cross road politically. Firstly, We’re in a pandemic that needs immediate attention. Then, we have to deal with undoing all the negatives caused by 45. After that we should certainly have Congress address corporations. Sadly, we are left with a government in crisis due to poor leadership, so restructuring it to get us back on track will take some time. Unfortunately, I don’t see immediate changes for corporations due to other more pressing matters, like keeping our democracy working. It IS INDEED a wake up call to see in print these corporate monopolies. Thanks for bringing it to the forefront.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If Congress does not act soon on anti trust regulations, we are doomed. It should be first priority. But congress will not do anything unless we tell them we are tired of these companies monopolizing everything. This should be our goal with the new administration

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  6. Not only the companies you listed are owned by Amazon but they own AWS, Amazon Web Services, the world’s largest website host. They are able to shut down any website they want for any reason — and did so last week.

    Truly frightening how much power a few companies have. I believe they are more powerful than the US Government. And many government agencies rely on AWS for their functionality. And I willingly let them into my life. I do think they are monopolies that need to be broken up, but I doubt that will happen anytime soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is my point. We can’t let out dislike of someone blind us to the fact that they can shut down anyone at any time. They read every single thing we type, no matter the platform. We accept cookies on every website we look at. Yet, no one seems to care about the power that these few companies hold. We must be aware of what we are letting them do

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      1. Yes, we do. Also, I used to use a site called Grammarly to help me proofread. My son told me that they not only see every keystroke, they save everything, too. I deleted the program, but you are correct, Google etc. is doing the same.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Problem is, it’s a seep . . . a slow leak into this frightening science fiction scenario where corporations control every facet of our lives. We always saw it coming, so it never occurred to us that it wasn’t worth losing our privacy over because . . . wait for it . . it’s just so damned convenient. And we want to be sated now, come what may.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We need to get the new administration to look at the anti trust laws in regards to tech companies. This is new ground. We have to stop worrying about little things and start worrying about this

      Liked by 1 person

  8. WSJ had a recent expose about Amazon that was shocking. They will allow a seller onto it’s platform but if that company starts selling a bunch of a certain product, Amazon will either copy the product and sell it for less, find out who the producer is and buy from them directly for less (bypassing the seller) or make some bogus copyright claim against the seller suspending their right to sell the product on Amazon. Between Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and all the rest, we’d better wake up and smell the monopoloffee.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a pain in my rear, but I try to order from other businesses if at all possible. Amazon has WAYFAIR in its crosshairs big time.. I’m all for competition..but not this mobster stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know.. I was really disgusted and so disappointed to read about their tactics. They saved my bacon during COVID part one..and I was always so grateful for them..I really was..but then this? What a shame..it’s like isn’t success enough? Why now world domination?

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Sadly, politicians, especially this current administration has basically turned control of the country over to the corporations. Capitalism, which is supposed to be an economic system based upon private ownership, has become a religion in this country, a form of government replacing democracy. And our personal data has become a highly valued product to be bought, sold, and exchanged so that companies, like Amazon, can predict and direct our choices. Just wait until they set AI lose . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wouldn’t be so quick to blame the current administration. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Who donated where. It’s easy to use the republicans as a scapegoat, but this has been happening for years. I don’t see democrats saying amazon can’t buy everything. We need to stop blame and look at what is in front if us. Everyone, including us, has allowed it

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I agree with you. Stop the blame game. We should do away with being a Dem or a Rep. Everyone becomes an Independent and we vote based on the person’s qualifications and not if they are a Dem or Rep. Would be interesting to see what would happen. How would they argue in politics. WHO would the big Tech companies ban then. The EU is more on top of protecting a person’s data/information. We should be more like that too.

        I bought quite a few things from Amazon as Xmas gifts this past year. It was not a good process. So many 3rd party vendors, I could not put a gift notice inside, so friends were receiving gifts NOT knowing who it was from. Very frustrating. I don’t enjoy ordering online unless I have to. Hard to keep track of packages and if they were delivered. Sometimes there is a notice, other times there is not.

        Sigh… our new life.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. During quarantine I bought something off Amazon. I never received it. I complained. The company said it delivered it. I have a doorman and strict building rules that they must sign for all packages. The third party people fought me. I wrote a review for Amazon about how poorly the third party vender treated me and Amazon said it was unpublishable ….

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sorry to hear that. For this reason, unless I really have to order from Amazon, I prefer not to. And of course, they would not want to post your comment. Too bad. Like you said, we are at their mercy, unfortunately.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I agree, generally all politicians have yielded to corporate dollars. And the people of this country generally don’t pay attention. I think the current administration has been much worse than others because it has gutted administrative agencies to the point where there is no longer much regulation of corporate America. We have allowed this, some voted for accomplishing this. What we have allowed is difficult to reverse. First it requires awareness, and I think your post is great about that. Then it requires action, which is difficult now because unless we unite to form a collective voice, our behavior can be easily controlled by economic manipulation.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I think the future congress will spend more time debating whether we should omit the words mother and father, sister and brother, daughter and son and replace them with parent, child, and sibling than they will on trying to break up google and Amazon.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. No doubt. I wrote an article a long time ago where I reviewed a congressional session to see what they actually accomplished – not much. I’ll have to dig that out, Might be a good post for the blog 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I have tried to stay away from purchasing anything through Amazon, but it is difficult. I have a streaming device so I have Amazon prime. I would rather shop at Whole foods but I won’t. Consumers vote with their wallet, but I really think we need to look into the anti-trust laws again. I do believe that too much in the hands of too few is not a good thing. This has been allowed to go unchecked for too long.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. If this administration does anything it much be to review the anti trust laws with regards to these companies. But if we don’t start complaining…they wont

      Liked by 1 person

  11. The data mining of these conglomerates is truly troubling. All in the name of “better customer experiences” is a Big Tech Lie. They’ve been gathering information on users for years. And we’ve allowed it to happen because we’re so entrenched in convenience. Siri and Alexa will never cross my threshold because these companies cannot be trusted. And, you are spot on correct that conglomerates like Amazon and social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, etc. are gaining control over what we read and see in the media and we either don’t realize, don’t want to admit it or just don’t care as long as it supports our personal narratives. When certain stories are blocked or not covered by the majority of traditional media, it’s a telling sign of what’s to come. When stories are “reported” from the bias of the news outlet to fit a specific narrative, we’ve lost all journalistic integrity. When conglomerates are allowed to become Truth Ministries and make decisions on what is relevant and not relevant for people to see and hear based on partisan influence, we’ve crossed into the realm of state-run media and all discourse and exchange of ideas (good and bad) cease to exist. What is short sighted in all this is, while many cheer recent events to censor certain political players, soon it will be anyone who expressed a dissenting opinion from what these platforms think is “factual and true.” They will know best what ideas to put out to us. Do we, as a society, really want this? Do we really want to be spoon fed information and not have the freedom to determine the merits of an idea or position for ourselves? Do we really want to relinquish control of every aspect of our lives to what a select few think is best for us? It’s begun with the seemingly benign aspect of making our lives more convenient. And it’s become almost impossible to function without much of this. But it’s so much bigger than convenience now. We have bought into all the things technology can do for us and have become slaves to a different master. Your comment about needing religion after all and choosing these companies to be the all seeing, all knowing, ever present deity we crave is very true, whether we realize it or not. I’m concerned as long as we’re okay with Big Tech, government and other conglomerates controlling every aspect of our lives, soon there will be no more real private ownership of much of anything. Okay, rant over. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Excellent thoughts!! You’re dead on correct…it’s all fine if they block the person you don’t like, but all of a sudden, they block the person you do? What if they stop selling books that the algorithm says are offensive? Do we just arbitrarily get rid of anything we don’t agree with? It’s a very slippery slope

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This in regard to your Amazon delivery you never got. You do have to be diligent with them. I have a ring doorbell which takes a video of every person who walks past my door and records the day and time. Amazon sent me a pic of a door with my package stating it was delivered. I sent them back the video and a still shot of my door with their pic next to it showing it was the wrong door. * the two were clearly not the same. And here’s something else to know. AMAZON uses a tracking device like google earth when they deliver a package. So they literally tracked it and found my package was delivered 400 feet from my door. That proved it was delivered to another apt. One Who took in the package and kept it. They resent my package free of charge and reimbursed me in full for my troubles. You CAN talk to a live person but you also can dispute things. They track packages. The pay take pictures of every package dropped off. They should be sending you a photo every time a package is delivered. That way there a times photo that is recorded that they can trace. Just so you know…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was through a third party vender. They told me my package was delivered though they had no receipt of delivery. They said it was probably placed in the wrong mailbox and I should ask my neighbors, all 170 of them, to check. They were so rude about the whole thing. And months later no one has “found” the package in their box…

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  14. Hmmm. A great question, as always, LA. Two viewpoints here. It is our responsibility to choose to act in ways that align with our values. If our values are not aligned with these megalithic corporations, don’t buy from them, unsubscribe. Second, I am in favor of more government regulation. I buy from Amazon when I choose to, and yet, also disengage with them, and other large corporations often. A paradox, and not. Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. AHHHHHH! Wait, what?! You always ask good questions, so I am not surprised by this one. Of course, I can never really know what I would do, however, I believe I would persist and find new ways to engage and write. The question I wonder about, that your question helped me see is this. Would I fight for my right to freedom of expression. I also want to believe I would. Your question also makes me think about some software application ideas my son and I have been talking about. Makes me want to research more open access resources. Thanks for the conversation, LA.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Google did buy Fitbit. I thought we had rules in our country concerning companies becoming too big and creating monopolies? I am sure big business has always been political, but lately it seems that they are running, or at least manipulating, the show. I always try to support small and local businesses when I can. Recently though, my friends and I were chatting and it just seems like there are some items I can’t find anywhere but online now. That is sad. Good post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve found the same thing. I need to go online to buy things like tennis balls. And I live in NYC…the reason I said may is that apparently some government agency is trying to stop the sale….

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Amazon owns Goodreads? I haven’t been posting much there for over a year now…a good thing. I have never ever not even once ordered anything from Amazon…..I just don’t like the company and the fact that is has such a big monopoly on everything. It’s not such a hardship for me as Canadian Amazon is not as good anyway and if we order US then there are duty and customs to pay. I’m not too impressed with Facebook anymore for the same reason, and limit my time there, I don’t like the tracking of data.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have really limited my Facebook use. I don’t think we can put the genie back in the bottle, so to speak. But we should be aware of the ways big tech has control over our lives

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m kind of surprised you went off on Amazon in light of the brainwashing used by our now deposed king – I mean president – on the many dunces who swallowed his lies hook, line and sinker and followed his barely encrypted directions to violently revolt. I’m pretty sure those sites targeted vulnerable and willing recruits in the same way Amazon does potential buyers.
    I just started watching a Netflix documentary titled “The Social Dilemma” which deals with the same subject matter. Throughout my viewing thus far I have shaken my head in consideration that most people don’t realize they are being manipulated by these media giants. That’s easier to do these days because it’s harder for any consumer (of facts, news, products or services) to evaluate any of them objectively, especially without putting in some time and effort to find other sources. Even then, the consumer still has to evaluate the accuracy and trustworthiness of the source!
    Thus I return to my original point about the easily recruited insurrectionists and end with the watchwords applicable to any consumer: “Caveat Emptor/Buyer Beware.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amazon has the ability to stop a website because they don’t agree with it. I have a huge problem with someone who publishes books, sells books and content and has the ability to stop someone with an opposing point of view. Tyranny begins when we attempt to silence someone who doesn’t think like us. I get that they are private but they wield too much power and should be subject to oversight, as does all of big tech. I worry about there only being ine voice. That is clearly not a democratic principal and does not belong in a republic. Totally my opinion but I think we need to do something about big tech and censorship. I think it is the greatest issue we face.

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      1. Add it to the extremely long list of actions for the new administration to tackle.

        From what I’ve observed, this issue might actually be one of the few where the policy could be bipartisan because I think both sides have complained about social media censorship or the lack thereof.

        If there is anyplace where a middle of the road solution is called for i.e. just enough regulation but not too much, this one is it. The difficulty will come, I guess, in determining the arbiter of the truth or factfulness of any item or position. It may come to something like some of the judgements .
        rendered by the Supreme Court re protected speech. Either that, or we may end up with a lot of “fact/source checkers” who at minimum or at most might provide at least some basis for the consumer to make an educated or enlightened decision.

        My concern is really more around free social media than capitalistic marketplace websites. I also wasn’t aware that Amazon put any limits at all on what could be purchased through their site. This could be another example of caveat emptor re the site when an interested consumer is looking for the full range of products/info in a particular category. IDK maybe Amazon is just an extension of the Bezos-owned Washington Post?

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