Today’s New York Times has a story about an age quiz. The link to the story is http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/26/technology/internet/26privacy.html?_r=2&scp=1&sq=online%20age%20quiz&st=cse. The article begins: “Americans yearn to be young. So it is little wonder that RealAge, which promises to help shave years off your age, has become one of the most popular tests on the Internet. “
What will we fall for next? This is a brilliant marketing scheme that benefits the drug companies. People like us unwittingly take the age quiz without knowing that our answers are being used. The drug companies look at people’s answers and market drugs to the people, based on their answers.
By doing promotions like this, I believe that the drug companies spread anxiety about real or imagined medical conditions. People are interested in how long they will live. According to the article, Dr. Mehmet Oz, featured regularly on the Oprah Show, is on the payroll of RealAge, so people are likely to think the quiz must be okay.
Do I think this is good for people? No. I think this is another way for the drug companies to make money. I believe that we already are bombarded with advertising from drug companies without this, too, especially since it appears that the people who take the age test do not know that their answers will be used by the drug companies. It looks like deception to me.
I believe that we are being overdosed and overprescribed now. I say beware.