Daily Prompt: Since we have computers

Eiger, Mönch and Jugfrau - Ferdinand Hodler

I am not an expert in paintings. Whether this is strictly surreal or not I do not know, but Ferdinand Hodler, the Swiss painter, managed a good job on painting the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains. We have a few original Hodlers hanging in our local museum, unfortunately not on our walls.

Today everything is a little surreal, although daily life has become so surreal that we just take it for granted. A week ago Mr. Swiss celebrated his birthday. It was a quiet affair, we did not publish it in the newspaper or send out invitations. When you celebrate so many birthdays as we have, it is just something that happens every year.

Even a day before the great day he received his first voucher for 50 Swiss francs from a clothing business. Any purchases would be 50 Swiss francs cheaper, but of course only if he spent at least four times as much on his purchases. Wonderful, a birthday gift from a company that you did not know existed, but they knew it was your birthday. Strange, almost surreal. If you do not use your voucher then you miss a chance of buying with a reduction. If you buy nothing, you have spent no money and have made a profit of 50 Swiss Francs.

And then the next voucher arrived for the computer of his choise, or a camera, or anything eletronic, again stating the amount you must spend to be able to trade in the voucher. How do these companies know he was celebrating his birthday? Had they marked the date on their internatl calendars that Mr. Swiss would be happy to receive a birthday gift?

These gift vouchers were limited in validity, only a month. So how did they know he was celeratin his birthday? It was all registered in their computer. Even my personal computer at home sends a reminder that great aunt Mabel (fictitious of coure, I have no great aunts). will be celebrating her special day,  And so all over the world, any company where Mr. Swiss has purchased online, has noted his birthday. He did not tell them, but it seems there is a trade in the world on personal information. Companies actually pay for private information. The first details you supply are name and address and date of birth. Have you ever paid by credit card on line? Of course, and this is the first step to your birthday gift.

There seems to be a cyberplace where details are sold to companies wanting to honour your birthday. How lovely, real good friendship and consideration. Of course if you take advantage of their offer, you invest perhaps more money than is being offered. That is not so important, it is the thought that counts.

Needless to say Mr. Swiss refrained from accepting birthday gifts where he invests money to receive them. I am now looking forward to my birthday on 6th December (do not forget). Perhaps Apple will send me a voucher for my new iPhone X, that would be great.

Daily Prompt: Since we have computers

21 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Since we have computers

  1. Recently my hairdresser send me a letter offering a discount because it was my birthday. I didn’t remeber telling himwhen was it. Nevertheless I took advantage of the offer and cut my hair. And What about the advertising on line? By mistake, looking for electronics, I landed once in a page in Amazon that was selling oversized dresses, and now I can’t get rid of advertising of XXL clothes in Facebook and other pages. Aaaaaaargh!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is exactly how the world works today. All the advertisements I receive are connected with something I once clicked on. If a business I know personally offers me a rebate like a hairdresser that is ok, but not a company that I do not know.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sometimes – when I am procrastinating – I like to fool them. I click on weird things. Or I tell facebook that a certain advert is not relevant to me. If you do that often enough you get really, really weird adverts targeting you. I don’t like ti but I prefer it electronically rather than having lots of paper in my actual postbox (the little lable saying: “No advertising material” works pretty well in Germany, though).

        Liked by 1 person

        • And now I notice that my letter box is no longer full of junk, but my e-mail box is, so they get you one way or the other. However a deleting mouse click is easier than disposing of the junk in the letter box. I once blocked a cooking recipe site in facebook but it was replaced with ten others. So is online life.


  2. Privacy? Pretty soon there will be a generation that does not know what it means. It will be like the telephones that sat on a desk or hung on a wall.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Where I live every store clerk when cashing you out asks for your phone number. Even when using cash. I refuse to give it to them. When we had the house phone, a land line, it was one thing. Now that we use cells with no house phone I prefer to keep my number to my self when possible. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • We only have a cell phone and I don’t even know my number by memory. I have to look into my phone to see it, many web sites ask for your telephone no. To complete your login or whatever. We are really being watched and it is a bit uncanny.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: For real now. – picturesimperfectblog

  5. I guess data mining is alive and well in Switzerland, too. The advertisers know EVERYTHING about us in the U.S. Where do they get it? Everywhere. All those “store” discount cards are just ways to add your name and buying records to a database to be sold to anyone who wants to sell something to you. Data mining. More money in it than gold.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are companies that buy the data info. Personally I don’t get so much. It used to arrive through the letterbox, but now by computer and I just throw it in the trash without bothering to read it. You never get anything for nothing and it is always tied to spending money


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