Andrew H. Walker has photographed a lot of celebrities in his life. But at the 2016 Toronto Film Festival, he decided to try something ... different.

"[Actors] have, not only this personal inside voice, but they have a public persona that they put out there, and they also have their private self," said Walker, a staff photographer at Shutterstock, in an interview with Mashable. "There's this whole other layer of themselves as people. I found that really, really intriguing."

Walker placed a piece of tape on a table and told an impressive list of "A-list" celebrities to pose on either side of it as their "public" and their "private" selves. The only rule was that they couldn't cross the tape line, so he could composite the photos later. As for which side of the tape they "performed" their "selves" on? That was entirely up to them.

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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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