What’s with All the Surveys?

November 18, 2015

Raindrops on green leaf

Raindrops on green leaf

What’s with all the surveys?  It seems like I cannot make a move these days without a follow up in the mailbox or in my email asking for feedback about my recent encounter.  A doctor’s visit, an online order, a coffee purchase at Starbucks.  On the rare occasion of me buying something from Amazon.com I was asked to fill out a customer service survey about my ordering experience, and then another request to rate the item I purchased.

Enough already!

Who fills out these surveys?  I suppose it is the same people who “like” things on Facebook.  (Oh, oh.  I hope I haven’t offended my readers who “like” my blog posts!  I actually do get a kick out of seeing the likes strung like beads at the bottom of my posts.)

I suspect companies ask for this kind of feedback so they can advertise how wonderful they are (96 percent rate us five stars!!).  Not so that they can improve how they do business.  Or else they are compiling data that they can sell to others who want to target their marketing.

The creepy thing about these surveys is the feeling of Big Brother watching and monitoring everything I do.

“As daily becomes more obvious, our every online move is shadowed.  Information of all sorts is harvested and sifted and used to build our user profiles, profiles that map our purchasing behavior, our declared subject interests and other aesthetic preferences.”
–Sven Birkerts, Changing the Subject: Art and Attention in the Internet Age

Maybe if we all stopped filling out these surveys, they would stop.



5 Responses to “What’s with All the Surveys?”

  1. Frank Olson Says:

    I think our personal data and emails are sold everyday somehow, maybe if we all stop filling out these surveys, they would stop, thank you for the post anyway

  2. shoreacres Says:

    I’ve never filled out one of those surveys, and I won’t: particularly on places like Amazon. In the same way, I never rate anything online. Of course, I’m one of those weirdos who won’t use one of those grocery store cards that is necessary to be given price “breaks.” That database is accessible to too many people, and it’s no one’s business what I’m eating. (She grumps…)

  3. Renee Says:

    I am another fan of yours that does not fill out surveys
    However I do use like for certain items on Facebook. I didn’t think it would have any kind of negative effect.

  4. E. Bancroft Says:

    I always used to decline phone surveys until my neighbour exclaimed that this was the best way to let the government know what you think and to have some direct influence. So when I was invited to complete on-line surveys for our local health authority I signed up. I get to share my voice and contribute to making change.

    The other place where we give our feedback and read comments is for travelling since we prefer to do house exchanges or rent apartments.

    • Rosemary Says:

      I have used Travel Advisor-type reviews myself. But I wonder about what I am doing. I remember traveling in pre-internet days. What has happened to self discovery? Why always follow the herd? Are we more afraid to make independent decisions these days?

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