‘How do these tech companies know me better than I do?’

Photo: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

Photo: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire - Credit: PA

There is something irritatingly insistent about the internet. I am sporadically on Twitter, so it sends me daily emails telling me what I might like.

How the heck do they know what I like?

What they do, I believe, is look at the people the people I follow follow... if you follow... and then try to match me up with some of them.

But, on the basis that the average degrees of separation in East Anglia numbers two, I am keeping up with just about everyone in the region... and undoubtedly related to a fair few as well.

Then there's the global tyranny of LinkedIn.


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I do not subscribe to this site, which proclaims it is the 'World's largest professional network', and yet this doesn't stop endless emails from people who want to 'link' with me.

A lot of PR people based in London appear to be interested in networking with me.

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I cannot tell you how uninterested I am in reciprocating.

This is not because I find them dull – I don't know them, so how could I?

I do not wish to link with them because they are strangers.

Having said that, I once received a 'link with me' request from the chap I sit next to at work.

I asked him why he'd done that. He said it wasn't him.

He felt sitting beside me all day was quite enough of a link, thank you.

A few days after I have failed to respond to a LinkedIn petition, I get another email, reminding me the complete stranger is still waiting for my reply.

There is the option to say you do not wish to link but that would be tantamount to an acknowledgement, so I just ignore them.

Anyway, if I were to press the reject button, I might hurt someone's feelings.

Meanwhile, my Yahoo email account knows all about me.

My husband says it's something to do with cookies.

Make of that what you will.

It's sinister but clever, because the ads that pop up on the page are often related to things I have browsed or bought.

Thank goodness I've never mistyped martial arts as marital arts... although... no.

As it is, it's Waitrose today and a 'Cover my funeral' ad, from which I deduce Yahoo may have gleaned some indication of my age.

Then there are places (properties) in Cambridge and all-inclusive holidays in Barbados.

They obviously don't know I get prickly heat, but please don't tell them or else I'll get ads for creams to rub in.

Nissan cars is another... I confess I was looking at the Qashqai.

If only Scrabble had two Qs.

It would be a terrific score if well placed over a triple word square.

•The views above are those of Lynne Mortimer. Read more columnists in the EDP each day.

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