The BLOG: Culture

Stop Blaming Russia and Start Blaming Me


What would you say if I told you that I know your bra size?  Who you voted for?  What your favorite brand of cereal is?  How much you spend on booze?  You’d think I was “Big Brother,” right?

Everyone SWEARS their phone is listening to them.  One minute you’re talking to your wife in your house about how you need to pick up diapers … and then POW – you get an ad for diapers on Instagram.  It’s not Alexa.  It’s not SIRI.  But it’s also not in your head.  It’s really happening.  So … how?

Here’s the secret.  Your phone doesn’t need to listen to you.  We already know EVERYTHING about you.

Today … a “tell all” that’s probably going to freak you out and make you want to disappear from the grid.

First – why?  Why would I share all of this with you?

Well, in the coming weeks, you’re going to hear the media talking about the Cambridge Analytica files.  To break it down very, very simply … the idea is that information about you was stolen to help sway the election.

You’ve probably heard about Russia buying a couple hundred grand in Facebook ads as well.

Want to know the truth?  The truth is that the BIGGER problem is how much information YOU have given marketers like me.  Information that you actually WANT people like me to have.

Follow me for a minute.  You complain about privacy, right?  But you checked in at the hospital on Facebook when you went into labor and told everyone you were seven centimeters dilated and that baby Joey was on the way.

That’s right.  You are pissed about Russia being able to target you with ads … but you have no problem telling the WORLD about your cervix.  AND about the fact that you probably won’t be home for the next few days and have lots of brand new baby products just sitting there waiting to be burglarized.

Guys – I know EVERYTHING about you.  And that’s why we spend millions of dollars a year on social media advertising.

And you actually WANT us to know everything.  That’s why you buy so much stuff.  Those shoes you were looking at and then forgot to buy … but you were reminded by that ad.

The protein powder you’re running low on.

The flowers for your anniversary… thank God that flowers ad popped up, right?  It’s almost as if they KNOW.

Hint:  they do.

You’re probably getting angry at me right now.  But don’t blame me.  I’m not the one sharing all of that information about you and then forcing you to buy those products.  That’s on you. 

But before you click off of this article because it’s scary and makes you angry … let me help you understand how this all works.

Because it’s not JUST about what you look at online.  No, it’s so much more.

Remember how you scanned your grocery store card so you could get those discounts?

Remember how you clicked “Agree” on the Apple and Netflix and Hulu and every other privacy policy in the world just so you could watch your show or listen to your music?

Remember how you used your clothing store credit card for that extra 20%?

Remember how you signed up for that subscription?  Downloaded that app?  Marked “married” online?  Donated to that cause?  Supported that non-profit?  Used the coffee shop app to buy your coffee?  Created that music playlist?  Bought that house?  Bought that car?  Signed up for that insurance policy?  Took that job?

Well, ladies and gentlemen, THANK YOU.  More information to target you with, my dears.

Listen.  I’m sick of everyone complaining about Russia buying ads or politicians using data.  The bigger problem is that YOU were more than happy to GIVE AWAY that data.

If you’re going to complain … then you need to DO SOMETHING about it.  But nuking your Facebook or your Instagram or your Twitter account isn’t going to do it. 

The only person responsible for your privacy … Is YOU. 

THAT right there is some REAL TALK from the Whiskey Wall.  Now share this article to wake everyone the hell up.


Kyle S. Reyes is the Chief Executive Officer of The Silent Partner Marketing, co-host of The Whiskey Patriots and the National Spokesman for Law Enforcement Today. Reyes is also an acclaimed keynote speaker on patriotism and leadership, entrepreneurship and marketing by storytelling. You can follow him on Facebook.