The Barrage


Since writing, Magic Made in Mexico, my story is literally an open book… but I’ve not done anything illegal, or so-terribly embarrassing that I need to hide from “enquiring minds”. Really, it doesn’t bother me that people know quite a bit about my life.

Nonetheless I feel uneasy with how much information my service providers and social media sites have collected.


For example… Monday, I was traveling back to Merida and after sketching a bit and listening to some great Canada Day entertainment, by the Siobhan Walsh Group (who are all much better-looking than the cartoon I drew) I searched for a comfy corner where I could relax. I found one in an unlikely place… close by the Canada Line’s airport stop.

With many hours ahead of me, I settled into the chair, and connected to Spotify. I clicked on “playlist”, closed my eyes, and the first song to reach my ears was “Homeward Bound”. I like Simon and Garfunkle, but I know I’ve never listed the duo as “favourites”. And furthermore, how does Spotify know that: “I’m sittin’ in a railway station with a ticket to my destination… mm-mm…”

Unnerved, I scrolled through the APPS roster on my phone and found several I did not recognise. How did they get there? Later I found an email promoting “classic tunes”; the message urged me to buy… guess who… Simon and Garfunkle, of course.

Time drifted by, and 24 hours after leaving my sister’s home at Allison Lake BC, I arrived in Merida, Yucatan. I felt too exhausted go online at all, but today, when I did so, I had an email from Apple urging me to purchase a Spotify upgrade that would give me access to ALL my favourite tunes. Just for curiosity’s sake, I opened the link, and what was playing in the background?

Homeward bound
I wish I was
Homeward bound…

Natch´… I took a couple of siestas. And perhaps because of those two extra sleeps, and the l-o-n-g travel day, I could not drift off to Dreamland. So, I turned on Netflix. No list appeared, but a promo did:

  • Watch on your TV, computer, iPad, iPhone or console
  • No hassles, no commitments

No hassles, no commitments… My Foot!

I clicked, and the next message to appear was a “request” to answer a survey about the type of programming I want. Netflix promised they would not share my information with any other platform.

Right… how could I imagine they would do such a thing?

Does anyone know of a way to stop the constant barrage of pop-ups, pleas for more information, unending upgrading and downloading of new apps?


Published by Changes in our Lives

I am originally from Canada but have lived in Mexico since 1976. My husband is from Merida, Yucatan and we raised our family here. We both worked for many years at Tecnologia Turistica Total (TTT), the tourism, language and multimedia college we founded for local and international students. Now retired, we enjoy spending time with family and friends, My other interests include reading, painting, cooking and travel.

12 thoughts on “The Barrage

  1. Having been hacked recently on FB and constantly receiving calls on my US phone stating I have a pending matter of great importance and to contact a mediator immediately. I am just sick of the whole thing. I understand your frustrations my friend. What happened to privacy?.


    1. Privacy is gone and like it or not, the digital world is here to stay. You know that I too have been subject to violations of my privacy as well as attacks on my personal and professional reputation. All this from “out of nowhere” over the internet. Hacking is scary… I wish I could suggest ways to thwart it but short of becoming a recluse, I don’t believe the threat can be avoided.


  2. My method of choice is to simply not engage in social media at all. Email is risky enough as it is, but I feel much safer than if I were spending all that time on Facebook and the others. Years ago, I tried Twitter, but quit after I had to deal with people I had never heard of asking if they could ¨follow me.¨ (I clicked ¨no¨. ) And guess what, I never was able to totally quit Twitter, because I still get messages referring me to some of my favorite folks recent Tweets.


  3. I am in Germany now, and their internet policy is about privacy. To comment on your blog I had to accept the following: Privacy & Cookies: This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.
    To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Cookie Policy

    Of course I accepted. I enjoy your blogs. I am with you on your sentiments about 99.9% of the time. I haven’t seen you in quite a while but I value the time and conversations we have had. Abrazos. Jane


    1. Jane, how good to hear from you… it has been quite some time. Do you and John still have a home here in Yucatan? So many changes in the past years… it seems hard to understand how the internet has radically changed our lives with regards to personal privacy… how we read, how we form our opinions on just about everything… I have to stop myself and ask… where does this “new fact” come from? Anyways, it’s indeed “a brave new world.” I hope we stay in touch.


  4. Joanna, wow, have I missed reading your blog/posts, getting your keen insights, learning a thing or three. It is crazy, and wonderful, to be offline for so many weeks! And now to be back, and read this, my first catch-up entry of yours….with an ad above it for “Chihuahua Sevilla”, right after I had just spoken about Chihuahua DOGS to some people….is creepy. BUT—-if I had not used the internet, it is doubtful I would have run into you and “Magic Made in Mexico”, so it is a small price to pay to receive ads about places I should probably learn about anyway! I can’t wait to binge read you and catch up. As always, thanks for being an open book and leaving a map for us magic makers to follow. I am looking forward to hearing the “Siobhan Walsh Group” and thanks for sharing the great cartoon! 🙂


      1. Hi Harold… so you listened to the band at the link I sent? I enjoy them a lot… Are you going to Vancouver… Maybe we’ll be there at the same time? I will be in BC for several weeks, starting in early September. Let me know; maybe we could meet there?


  5. I love their sound. I love how they cover, how it resonates with me, how they tweak and make things their own, how they bring this music alive and keep it alive. She is fantastic. They all are. I will see them live.


    1. I might have mixed up my replies and your comments because I think I’ve already written something abut your reaction to the Shioban Walsh group. But again… glad you enjoyed their sound. They give a good live performnce. Their event dates are on their website I suppose. If there’s one in Vancouver sometime in September, maybe we’ll see eachother there?


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