She Who Must Not Be Named

Lord Voldemort is not the only one to have his soul in seven pieces. I do too. As do most of us. We just don’t realize it.

Google has the biggest piece of my soul. Google knows every word I ever typed in chat, kind of owns every email I ever sent and wrote, every search that was saved before I turned off my search history, every place I ever plotted on a map, every query I ever typed, starting from “Lord Voldemort” to “Who the heck is Savita Bhabhi?” and that’s not counting Youtube.

Microsoft owns a large chunk. For all I know, I might have given them a piece of my soul each time I scrolled to the bottom of a user agreement and clicked “I Accept” without reading what I accepted. Oh, Microsoft also probably knows the date, if not the details of every last computer catastrophe that ever befell on me.

The American bureaucracy and everyone who ever ran a credit check on me own a bit of my soul. They know everything about when and where I was born, how many times I got into an airplane, every address I lived at, every time I paid my credit card bill and miscellaneous information like how much I weigh, the color of my eyes, all my fingerprints, my palm prints and possibly brainwave patterns too.

Wal-Mart owns a decent sized chunk of my soul. No matter how much I might hate to shop there, when I do, I seem to compensate for all the times I stayed away. Given the size of Wal-Mart’s data warehouse (there are training programs to help vendors make sense of the data they get from it), I’m probably in there. And well, you really can’t shop at Wal-Mart without losing a bit of your soul.

I don’t think I can pay for my cellphone (or internet or TV) without parting with a bit of my soul.

My health insurance provider ensures my physical well being for a piece of my soul.

All my banks can get together and decide how they want to split what’s left. The time, date, place and value of every last transaction, ATM access, every last check and balance enquiry. And if that’s not enough, they’re revamping the machines to take my money even if I wave my card in their general direction

That brings the total to seven pieces. Give or take a couple. Perhaps I could migrate to Antarctica… Is it too late to mutate into a penguin?

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