Friday, September 13, 2013

Thanks, Facebook, But I Don’t Need a Makeover

It used to be just the sidebar ads. A few here and there for expensive monogrammed dress shirts. An occasional shoe ad. Maybe a sports drink of some sort of shake. A 2-week trial membership to Generic Jim’s Gym. They showed up here and there and I ignored them.

And then my eagle-eyed honey pointed out the sudden KERPOW! increase in ads for Sexy Man Underwear. Not ads  for April Fools. Not ads for Valentine’s Day. Everyday ads.

So there I was, occasionally showing my FB account to people, and it almost never failed that while doing so, I’d get a bunch of…men-in-underwear ads. Only in their underwear ads.

Those went away after a while. I guess Facebook finally realized I was not going to buy a banana-hammock.

Next came the Suggested Posts of things I should like. Apparently I am not big enough or strong enough or the right shape for Facebook, because it keeps suggesting I “like” this muscle-building shake or that “get buff” program or some exercise program guaranteed to reduce my body fat to -10% and bulk me up until the Hulk himself would be jealous. Yes, I am too fat for Facebook.

I’m also not fashionable enough, since they are suggesting I “like” these boots and those shoes and, for some reason possibly related to a project I did for a friend, this flirty little dress-and-high-heel set. Ties, also. Apparently the 50 or so I own  isn’t enough anymore.


I understand that Facebook has this-and-that algorithm that is supposed to look at things I like and try to predict other things I’ll like and advertise them to me. It is trying to think for me, and I suppose I should thank them, since I do enough of that during the day.

But I have my own style, thank you. I don’t need to look like Joe Magazine, and I certainly don’t want to spend the money to. $75 for a t-shirt? I’ll pass, thank you. Balloon animal muscles? I’ll keep my pencil arms. A diet consisting of rare berries and grasses and the purified, encapsulated milk of some distant animal that will make give me a lustrous head of hair and make me live for 150 years? Nope, I’m happy with my yogurt and apple lunch.

There are enough images of what men are expected to live up to around us without our social media outlets trying to make us feel like we need some sort of fashion and diet cure-all. Think about it…you are happily scrolling through Star Trek memes and stories of your buddy’s kid’s football game and online comics and updates from your favorite TV shows and you get a Suggestion to “like” something that tells you to “man up, get buff, get chicks”. Thanks, Facebook, for preying on our insecurities. Apparently, you’ve tired of doing it to women and decided to move on. Or it’s working so well on them you’re trying it out on us.

And given the amount of these thing that are stacking up, I think it’s (sadly) working.

PS: To the person who added a sneaky little way to try to get these to go away, we appreciate it. Now, can you actually make it work?

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