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Family planning in a digital world

Target thinks I’m pregnant. The big box retailer favored by mommies (including yours truly) just mailed me a gorgeous full-color registry catalog complete with a coupon for a $20 gift card redeemable upon registering.

The last time this happened was two years ago, when I was indeed pregnant and looking to register. At the time, I had just purchased The Mayo Clinic Guide to Pregnancy on amazon.com (which I highly recommend). That must’ve sent off a ripple of first-time parenting alert bells through the mass marketing world. At least, that was the theory my husband proposed. We both work in the public relations and marketing field, so we have a working knowledge of the availability of targeted mailing lists and the value of such business prospects.

But this made me think: How much information about our health and our personal lives is public? Much of which we put out there ourselves via Facebook and other means.

As a PR professional writing this as part of a blog, I am clearly not a privacy nut. But there is a small part of me that remains creeped out about faceless companies knowing – or purporting to know – this much about my personal life.

What if I were going through fertility struggles or had just suffered a miscarriage? How would I feel when I opened my mailbox to find that catalog?

Perhaps I’m being hypocritical. Or perhaps Target simply knows more than I do. Feel free to share your thoughts: Are companies digging too much into our personal health issues?

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About the Author

Lisa Parro
Lisa Parro

Lisa Parro, health enews contributor, is manager of content strategy for Advocate Aurora Health. A former journalist, Lisa has been in health care public relations since 2008 and has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. She and her family live in Chicago’s western suburbs.