Photo by Shiromani Kant on Unsplash

What We Lose By Always Getting What We Want

Suzanne LaGrande
2 min readAug 27, 2022


By now we are well aware of how search engine algorithm are engineered to present us with what they determine we want, based on our previous searches.

Jeff Bezos has become the richest man in the world perfecting the precision of hyper focused, personalized advertising. Anytime you do a search for something you might buy, you’ll notice that soon ads for that or similar products pop up everywhere.

Newspaper advertising, by comparison, can never be that precise. Print ads, unlike search engine algorithms, cannot direct the readers attention.

Where an ad is placed, certain design elements and colors play a role in catching the reader’s eye. Equally important are the reader’s ever changing needs, interests and mood.

For advertisers, this ability of search engine’s to profile potential customers definitely increases the likelihood of a sale.

But here’s what we lose:

When I go to the public library to pick up a book, I often stop to look at the librarian’s recommendations. I also glance at the shelves around the book, above or below and often a title I wasn’t looking for, catches my eye.

The library, unlike highly targeted online algorithms, does not force me to pay attention only to books that, that, based on my reading history, the computer system guesses I might like.

The library, with its many shelves and recommendations, also introduces me to books about subjects I wasn’t searching for, but as it turned out, I am interested in exploring.

The precision of targeted advertising delivers what we want, but not necessarily what we need: the possibility of growth, expansion and discovering something new.

Read this post and more on my Typeshare Social Blog



Suzanne LaGrande

Writer, artist, radio prodcer, host of the Imaginary Possible: Personal stories, expert insights, AI-inspired satirical shorts.