Thursday Writing Prompt No. 94

I have a love/hate affair with targeted marketing and anyone or anything that tries to anticipate what I want to do, what I want to read, or what I want to get out of life. On one hand, I don’t want someone trying to sell me motorcycle parts or boating supplies because I don’t own a motorcycle or a boat. On the other hand, just because I crochet and am a woman does not mean that the only books I want to look at are crochet books, feel-good self-help books, or empowerment guides.

That made me think about the word “browser.” Browsing is something I do when I’m not looking for anything in particular. I may have a general idea or purpose (I need a new pair of shoes), but I know if I go to the store looking for a specific style of shoe then I won’t find them. Frankly, I hate shoe shopping because I don’t wear heels and that’s what everyone is selling for women.

I spent this morning getting irate at my computer because I’d mistyped something and when I cleared the text and tried to retype it correctly the browser kept inserting the previous error because it knew what I wanted to do. I hope the programmer who wrote that obnoxious bit of code gets a finger sprain. You do not know what I want! Argh!

So, this week’s Thursday Writing Prompt is a take on the idea of browsing and how web search engines try to anticipate what you want by filling in your sentence. Go to the search engine of your choice and start typing in a phrase. Pick one of the more ridiculous suggestions the browser makes and write 350 words on whatever that happens to be.

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