Kier is a therapist and a family and relationship vlogger who makes videos with his wife Noémie and 2-year-old daughter Emmy. Some of their content is comedic, some of it is serious, but their goal is for all of it to be "100% authentic."

Recently, Kier got real about fatherhood in a video he made while carrying Emmy around the neighborhood on his hip. The video resonated across a wide spectrum of people. I saw it shared by various friends in my own feed, and even by celebrities like Viola Davis.

As anyone who is a parent already knows, raising kids is hard work. It's rewarding and wonderful in many ways, but it's not easy. And if you don't prepare yourself emotionally for the task by working through your own childhood traumas, it's going to be even harder.

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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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