More and more of our experience online is personalized. Search engines, news outlets and social media sites have become quite smart at giving us what we want. Perhaps Ali, one of the hundreds of people I've interviewed about our emotional attachment to technology, put it best: "Netflix's recommendations have become so right for me that even though I know it's an algorithm, it feels like a friend."
Personalization algorithms can shape what you discover, where you focus attention, and even who you interact with online. When these algorithms work well, they can feel like a friend. At the same time, personalization doesn't feel all that personal. There can be an uncomfortable disconnect when we see an ad that doesn't match our expectations.