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Coincidence? Reticular activation? Spying phones?

I present evidence in that modern-day discussion and pondering of whether our phones and devices are listening to us and presenting potentially relevant ads.

Yesterday, after a most lovely day with my brother’s wife Clara Maria down at Jose Andres’s Jaleo (oh, do try The Jaleo Experience!) and a stroll around the Downtown Holiday Market in Penn Quarter, we came home to decorate their Christmas tree. Well, my brother and I sat on the couch while she decorated, but we did a reasonable job of watching the fake fire on the TV screen and keeping her company while she did her magic.

I started playing around with some of my brother’s stretch bands he uses for physical therapy. He told me he had bursitis of the shoulder and then explained what bursitis was and what some of the at-home exercises he’d been encouraged to do.

Now, I’ve been looking around online and intentionally clicking on many a barefoot-shoe ad because I want to find all the barefoot-shoe companies I can find, and explore their style and color options. (Side note: Would someone please make some muted-color shoes, please!). Understandably, my Facebook and Insta feeds of late have been FILLED with such ads. Essential oils, too. I do love me some essential oils.

As the evening closed and I left their beautiful home, I checked my phone in that knee-jerk need to plug in and scan my social and news feeds.

Can you guess what I saw?

Yup, an ad for an exercise gizmo that helps with–drum roll, please–shoulder pain! Not a cream or an ointment to help with pain, but an actual shoulder-focused exercise gizmo–just like we had been talking about an hour earlier. The ad even conveniently mentions bursitis. How nice.


Reticular activation?

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