MY NUMBER IS 555-555-NO
Idespair of the modern world fairly regularly, even as I take planes to wonderful places and wax lyrical about the best airports for a long layover (Schiphol, you rocked my weekend). Log on, and you may find youself stuck between people shooting each other in the hopes of getting social media following (at one extreme), or supercheesy marketing content that is not only awkwardly produced, but reinforces outdated stereotypes.
Head out into the real world, and you’re buying a cake and some cheese biscuits and are asked for your personal data. True story – hey Schiphol, why do you need to know my nationality in order for me to buy some gouda? Of course I made the staff aware of my displeasure. But it’s the same in our shopping malls: I’m buying a plant pot, an eyeshadow or a hoodie, and am asked for my phone number.
Well, readers, it looks like the UAE’s shoppers might have had enough. They’ve spoken up about this silliness – and someone’s actually listened. A press release landed in my inbox that appeared to actually share information about how real people feel, rather than news about a new brunch. 41 per cent of the respondents in a survey about sharing personal data with brands in the UAE said they don’t trust brands with their information (caveat: the survey was done by a loyalty marketing agency, and the information was collected last year). Over 70 per cent said the didn’t get anything out of sharing their information with brands. Really? That half a dozen SMSs we get about epic club nights and even more savings every Thursday afternoon doesn’t contribute to your overall well-being? Shocker. Let’s see if the shops listen.
I hope that gave you a laugh, but if it didn’t, try and have a giggle regardless: Laughing can apparently make you fitter and healthier – even if it’s a bit of a fake laugh. Read all about that in our story on laughter yoga on page 22. Then it’s time to pull more funny faces over your morning coffee with our guide to face yoga on page 40 – a little bit of gurning can take years off, proponents say. At least it should give the family a laugh.