Nothin’ Ain’t Worth Nothin’ But It’s Free*

I’ve seen a lot of Facebook posts about “women get it free”–then there’s usually a URL that takes us to a site that promises all sorts of free goodies. All one has to do is sign up. I must reiterate what I’ve suspected for many years: beware of “free” offers–anything free is worth what you pay for it. Here are a couple of paragraphs from the user agreement at worldwide web dot get it free dot us:

“…you generally provide: your name, mobile phone number, zip code, e-mail address, postal address, date of birth, gender, user name, password and other registration information; (b) transaction-related information, such as when you make purchases, respond to any offers, or download or use applications from us; (c) information you provide us when you contact us; (d) credit card information for purchase and use of the Site; (e) information you enter into our system when using the Site, such as contact information which is clearly labeled at the time you submit it; and (f) information you post on our Site.” (PLEASE note two things: “mobile phone number”–which renders your cell phone available to marketing calls; “credit card information for purchase and use of the Site”–Yikes.)

They then explain how your personal information is used: “We do this by transferring, licensing, and/or sharing your personal information with Our Companies and hope you will be interested in the marketing materials and/or promotions with which you are presented. Our Companies also transfer, and/or share your personal information with unaffiliated list brokers, affiliate marketers, and/or companies that want to advertise other products and/or services. Once a third-party obtains your personal information, its subsequent use is controlled by the business practices of the third party, which is beyond our control.”

Is it free? Or are we being persuaded by the idea of getting something for nothing, especially when those “somethings” are products that have been pushed at women for decades–makeup (myriad ways to make us look “better, more desirable”–whitening toothpaste, anti-aging cream, lipstick, “intimate lubricant” (pink, of course); soap (laundry & bath products); chocolates and “get in shape” CDs; baby products; craft books & supplies, etc. All offers end with an exclamation point.

I’m done. This is my warm-up writing for the day.

 
*Title is from “Me and Bobby McGee” by Kris Kristofferson.

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