Mishmash: a confused conglomeration of mismatched information (my definition)
Internet factual personal data independently collected by commercial sites is highly suspect in the event you have any doubts. Specifics about themselves revealed by individuals, or those who know them, on social network sites are a different matter but could be questionable, too.
On a whim I thought I'd see what personal information about me some commercial sites offered free to readers who searched my name. What a hoot! I've never seen such a mishmash of mixed information. I hope no one is ever foolish enough to actually pay any of those sites money to see whatever other data they claim they may or may not have about me. (I don't know what they might have, since I wasn't about to subscribe to find out.)
First of all, the sites often don't even have my name spelled correctly. A nonexistent middle name's initial is indicated in other instances. These name listings are as mixed up as the credit reporting agencies were the last time I checked their written reports (facts they can't seem to get straight.) Reviewing further family data purported to be about me revealed continuing grossly erroneous information including total family members and names in the household.
This experience caused me to wonder how accurate these sites would be for a few other family members and friends, or to question if only my listing was inaccurate. I needed to search but a few names to discover their data was as bollixed up as my own.
Frankly, I'm quite accepting of the fact much data about me on those commercial Internet sites is untrue. I hope anyone who might refer to those sites realizes they may contain little more than a grain of fact in an ocean of misinformation. I have no intention of correcting falsehoods or providing missing particulars to any of those sites.
I guess I belong to a minority group that doesn't welcome the gathering of information about me, that is consolidated in one such public centralized location so readily available for marketing. So, I don't intend to take any corrective action to aid in their so-called fact gathering. At best this effort only slows the assault on my personal privacy.
This Internet activity set me thinking. Just as many individuals seek celebrity today -- either the famous or infamous variety seems desired by many -- numerous other people are dedicated to compiling as many facts as possible about each of us as a way for them to make money. They lead us to embrace the idea that revealing all about ourselves on the Internet is desirable. I think, despite rhetoric to the contrary, the primary motivation for gathering information about us is purely commercial -- to find a way to entice advertising dollars.
Eventually, one day the great computer with infinite storage in the cloud will know all there is to know about us. The mechanical wisdom of this computer, that will have been designed to program itself, will spew forth selected knowledge unique to each of our needs and desires. When we consult that digital wizard about products and other matters each of us will automatically be offered predetermined choices presumed to be our preferences.
I wonder if the computer will know to offer me a pair of special shoes I always wanted? Maybe I shouldn't wait for the wizard to intuit the wish of this then young girl who longed for springs on her shoe soles in preference to the pogo stick she never had. There were no such shoes with springs then, as far as I know, but finally, these many years later, someone somewhere has designed that footwear. Hm-m-m! I wonder if there's a model suitable for elders?