You've probably heard the stat about how for every dollar men make, women make just 80 cents — but there's a lot about the pay gap that might still surprise you.

April 4 marks Equal Pay Day, which represents the number of days this year women have essentially worked "for free" as the result of the wage gap. While the day is an excellent moment to raise awareness about society's inequalities, fighting for fair pay and equal rights is something you can do 365 days a year.

Students at Barnard College attend the school's 2016 commencement ceremony. Photo by Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images.

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When I found out I was pregnant in October 2018, I had planned to keep the news a secret from family for a little while — but my phone seemed to have other ideas.

Within just a few hours of finding out the news, I was being bombarded with ads for baby gear, baby clothes and diapers on Facebook, Instagram and pretty much any other site I visited — be it my phone or on my computer.

Good thing my family wasn't looking over my shoulder while I was on my phone or my secret would have been ruined.

I'm certainly not alone in feeling like online ads can read your mind.

When I started asking around, it seemed like everyone had their own similar story: Brian Kelleher told me that when he and his wife met, they started getting ads for wedding rings and bridal shops within just a few weeks. Tech blogger Snezhina Piskov told me that she started getting ads for pocket projectors after discussing them in Messenger with her colleagues. Meanwhile Lauren Foley, a writer, told me she started getting ads for Happy Socks after seeing one of their shops when she got off the bus one day.

When online advertising seems to know us this well, it begs the question: are our phones listening to us?

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