Dear Pinterest user,
As per your request, we recently closed your Pinterest account. Except we didn’t, exactly. We’re leaving it in pre-cancellation limbo while we ask which of your children you’d prefer to have taken from you.
We’ve always held up our end of the bargain by providing a free rabbit hole for user-curated images and sites that sort of sometimes fit your search terms. But you decided to close your account; what gives? Seems only fair we should get something in return, and we’d love to have Braeden or Lisey.
When you Googled ‘DIY wicker basket’ this morning and clicked on a Pinterest link, we automatically sent you a reminder email to reactivate your account. How did we know it was you? Because websites and social media share your information like needles in 1960s Haight-Ashbury, and we like to get our data-fix, too. It’s a new market of predictive analysis some call “surveillance capitalism”, but we prefer to call it “an easier way to kidnap children and coerce their parents into reactivating their Pinterest accounts.”
You never log out of sites because you can’t remember your passwords, you rely on stored searches because you’re a terrible speller (is ‘Keto recipes’ really that hard to spell? Pinterest has plenty of those—reactive your account now to see all the glorious Keto pinboards!), and you check in everywhere you go on Facebook because, what, there’s a competition for getting takeout from the same run-of-the-mill Mexican restaurant every Monday and Thursday? Your digital bread crumbs are more like loaves.
Speaking of bread, you put 4 loaves of Nature’s Own Honey Wheat in your Target shopping cart this morning but never completed the order.
We use that kind of focused ad information to complete your digital personality profile. Matched with Instagram’s spot-on location tracking for your constant flood of mundane posts, we can easily surmise your daily whereabouts. For example:
You picked up Braeden at Quail Bluff Middle School about twenty minutes ago (your daily “car line woes, amirite?” Instagram posts are hilarrible), Lisey stayed for soccer practice (she’s the team’s star striker according to CoachZack76 on Twitter), and you’ll most likely leave Braeden at home when you go back to pick her up. That’s when he likes to live-stream his Fortnite gaming channel.
Oh, yes he does! Search for user OldeTowneRode6969 (he’s also a terrible speller). Through transcripts of Youtube’s auto-caption speech recognition technology, we learned Braeden often complains about “fucking bitch-ass teachers” who only give him bad grades because “they’re fucking bitch-ass bitches.” Maybe you could use Pinterest to search for a private tutor? Anyhow, we think the swearing and poor grades might make it easier to choose him for the kidnapping. We’re simply offering you a curated suggestion—that’s the Pinterest promise.
Hey, you just checked in at that Mexican place again! And Braeden’s live-streaming up a storm of swears! Seems like a good time for us to make our move.
Do the right thing and give a little back after we’ve given you so much. To start saving Pins again, click the reactivation link below and we’ll call off the windowless van that’s about to pull into your driveway.
If you don’t want to reactivate your account, you can ignore this email and say goodbye to Braeden or Lisey. But probably Braeden.
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Andy Spain is a video editor and motion graphics designer living in Durham, NC with his wife and 4 kids. Or is it 5? His humor writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, Slackjaw, Points in Case, Robot Butt, and Little Old Lady. Find him on Twitter @citizenspain