Of course, I know that it's Mr. Fargo's way of trying to make my banking experience pleasant and to let me know that I'm a person and not just a number. And I also know that the bank has more information about me than the government but somehow, I couldn't shake the feeling that my privacy has been invaded and visions of Big Brother swam through my head. Orwell was right, just a half-century too soon.
What's next? "Mr. Charleston, your account is $0.34 from being overdrawn. Please make a deposit (cash) or you are in danger of being charged a $38.13 overdraft fee, $2.00 processing fee, and 29.9% interest. We hope you enjoy your Wells Fargo banking experience." I'm already receiving obnoxious texts from AT&T reminding me that my account is about to be charged $42 for my phone and to please be sure there is enough cash to cover it.
The troubling thing is, this whole rush to "personalize" your e-experience has become the biggest driver of the dumbing-down of America. Anywhere you go on the internet you are bombarded with ads from web sites you have recently visited, inane trash-TV proliferates, and organizations like Fox News learned long ago that it is far more profitable to pay raving lunatics like Glen Beck a million bucks to say what people want to hear than to operate a legitimate news organization.
The net result is, in this Information Age, where we have access to more knowledge and information than anyone, anytime in history, we are being enclosed by fewer and fewer choices and the focus has become so narrow and self-centered that people lead encapsulated lives to the point of being unaware and unconcerned about what happens outside of their personal little media bubbles.
It's a trap difficult to escape and particularly so for our youth, who have become so addicted that some believe carrying a gun to school and killing people is just another reality game.
I don't know the answer, but I fear for the future.