Flying Monkeys and Your Personal Settings

I am mildly infuriated by SurveyMonkey, having recently discovered it and having hopped aboard the proverbial bandwagon (“bandwagon” applies here, even if the Monkey is only new to me.) I think the irritation comes from the ostensibly commercial application of so many surveys, and I suppose this is the value of the Monkey. But I was sickened, both physically and spiritually, by Taco Bell’s breakfast offerings, and I have absolutely no interest in purchasing a home automation system. The surveys are extremely random, as far as I can tell – incidentally, I should like to address the word “random” at a later time, and believe me, I will have something to say.

Surveys are not a new thing. I remember walking through the mall back in the times before some of you were born, coming upon the occasional survey-taker. The would accost the unsuspecting shopper with a promise of – oh, I think it was jelly beans or some shit – and the data-gathering episode and demographic prodding would begin. I was approached by one of the survey-taking-not-to-be-mistaken-for-a-monkey. I don’t remember the questions, but I do recall how drab and miserable the surroundings were. I think beige was for the 80’s what connectivity is for the 2010’s. I pity these data gatherers, about as much as I pity myself sometimes, but particularly for having to accost shoppers and the geriatric power walkers, and probe them, as it were, to collect inane and useless information for marketing folk and analysts to pour over, if for no other reason than to justify their existence. I think focus groups are the culmination of the mindset of marketing “genius” paired with businesses’ drive to prop up their bottom line.

Back to the Monkey.

SurveyMonkey has held my attention with a dangling carrot, the vague “$100 gift card.” It’s not entirely clear where this gift card may be redeemed, but Amazon comes to mind. However, I have yet to win said card after more than a dozen completed surveys, so I suspect it’s a ruse. Meanwhile, my personal settings have been fondled. Whoever collects this crap about me must be scratching their head. I’m considering screwing with them by inputting demographic information for a certain boomer who lives in the Paki-Indo-Mexican hodgepodge of the Mid-Cities.

“Do you ride a dinosaur?”

Yes.

“Are you likely to eat [pictured monstrosity]?”

Hell yes.

Well, I’ve got some more surveys to complete. I think the next one is how I feel about Fruit-flavored Doritos or which AOL.com features I prefer. It’s rather obscene, but I kind of enjoy it, like watching Russian dash-cam crash videos on YouTube – my guilty pleasure. Actually, don’t record that fact, please. I don’t want to know what magazines are going to be peddled for that little tidbit.

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