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My Secret Shameful Pleasure

it’s dishonest, but I don’t give a damn.

I love to take online polls from market research companies… and lie my ass off. It’s swell that I’m entered for a chance to win a financial incentive and all, but the real thrill I get is knowing that I can take a little time to muddle the results of some poorly written surveys. Yes, I love your product, I wish it had a waffle theme, with pink frosting, and I would never ever buy it, unless it came with a free basket!

It just tickles me that someone will incorporate this material into a marketing strategy.

Acknowledgement: I was inspired to this activity by our reader Bill, who noted that when he’s asked for information as part of data mining operations, he just makes stuff up rather than offering accurate information. A great tip, Bill. I’ve discovered that my brain gets a little adrenaline rush just out of lying. It’s almost as tingly as the Tilt-A-Whirl at the county fair!

market research sabotage

3 comments to My Secret Shameful Pleasure

  • Bill

    Glad you’re enjoying it, FG. I could try to make the argument that it’s not actually “dishonest” to provide false information to marketers when they offer nothing of actual value in exchange…rather, it’s fiction…but I guess I don’t care enough to really make the effort. The point I’d like to emphasize instead is that while this hobby is, as you say, kinda fun, it is also and most importantly a form of protest, and one that I strongly encourage others to join us in. Fill the world’s consumer profiling databases with garbage and they become useless. Why not? When I have to give correct personal information (as when I want someone to ship something to me) I do, of course, tell the truth. But there are so many times when merchants and others, both online and off, ask for (or, more often, insist you provide) info they have no business asking for and don’t need (annual family income, sex, age, email address, zip code, phone number…you know the drill). It’s offensive, and it deserves to be resisted. Simply declining to provide the info just plays into their game, but providing fictional info messes with the system in interesting and constructive ways.

    As always, you can find me (Dieter Kuntz) at home at 666 Devils Lane, Village of Bostich, Cayman Islands, with my wife Tootsie and our three sons, Adolph, Moonpie, and Marmeduke, enjoying our favorite family activity of collecting gaseous elements in Mason jars. But given that I’m going on 143 years old now, and Tootsie isn’t quite 3 yet, we may not be able to answer the door when you come. Did I mention I drive a Hudson Land Tuna?

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