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Don’t allow targeted messaging to cause this reaction.

Targeted digital ads and personalized online prompts have become an expected part of our everyday lives. Amazon suggests items to add to our cart based on our previous purchases. Netflix offers a “top picks for you” list based on what we’ve already watched. And while scrolling through Instagram, sponsored posts related to the pages we follow and the demographic we fall into are guaranteed to appear.

But I think we can all agree that generally speaking, these personalized messages, which are intended to tell us what we really want and need, are still in their infancy in terms of accuracy. Searching for an item on a clothing website and not purchasing it, for instance, means I decided against the item, and a follow-up email from the website asking me to buy it will not change my mind. Just because I work for a financial publication and conduct related research online does not mean I’m shopping for a low-rate credit card, as the targeted ads on MSN.com seem to believe. And Netflix’s top pick for me the other day, “Doomsday Preppers,” likely due to my interest in social documentaries, really sucked.

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha has served as an editor for CU Times since March 2015. She also served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta FCU) in Los Angeles from 2013-2015, and as a CU Times freelancer from 2011-2013. She has been a professional writer for more than 16 years, specializing in news and lifestyle journalism as well as marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space.

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