I don’t know about you, but I have to fight my addiction to Facebook. I try hard not to go straight there every time I boot up my laptop. I try not to recheck it every few minutes while I am supposed to be writing a report or doing lesson plans.
My intentions are good, but my will power is weak!
If I don’t constantly track Facebook, how can I keep tabs on my kids? I mean, really?
If I don’t keep up with every status update, how will I see the growth of everyone’s beautiful babies and children? How can I stay in touch with my childhood friends and old High School buddies?
I try, I do. But my will power is weak.
The questions is: How the hell does Facebook KNOW that my will power is weak? How does Mark Z. read my mind like that?
I’m sure you’ve noticed the little column of ads on the right side of your FB page, right? They don’t usually bother me, but lately I have noticed that in with the ads for shoes, purses and tax prep offers, I keep seeing Dr. Oz sitting on a couch in front of the hugest woman in the world, her gargantuan figure draped in a bright fuschia muumuu. The first time I saw her, (just as I was about to pop a cookie in my mouth), I felt intense sympathy. I mean, yikes, there but for the grace of God, and all that. Dr. Oz looked so kind and gentle as he leaned toward her. The ad was for some kind of Dr. Oz weight loss program. I ignored it.
But over the next few weeks, I saw that same image popping up, over and over again. Sometimes the woman was swathed in yards of fuschia, sometimes she was in neon yellow or an eye melting chartreuse. It was really disturbing!
I began to feel uneasy.
I would open FB, grab a nice buttery piece of toast, and immediately my eyes would be pulled to the right. Urk! There she would be, in all her horrific glory, folds of cloth and folds of flesh draping over her knees and the TV studio couch, Dr. Oz leaning in to offer help. The toast would drop and I would reach for an apple.
The weird thing is, they seemed to be advertising different things every time. A diet, an exercise plan, a health food plan….. And it was always the exact same image, with only the dress color changing. Weird!
Now, I understand how these ads work. I order shoes on Amazon, I get a million shoe ads. I buy a book on line, a million book ads pop up. I write a status about my back ache (not that I would ever do that!!!) and ads for pain meds and spine stretchers appear.
But I haven’t joined a weight loss program, or searched for low calorie diets or googled Dr. Oz!
HOW does Facebook know I need to drop a few pounds? HOW?
Can it see me? Gulp.
Is there some weird sensor in my screen that detects the scent of chocolate and immediately calls up the picture of the woman in the hot pink outfit? I’m beginning to feel more than a little creeped out.
As my discomfort (ok, my paranoia) grew, I investigated the stupid ads, and realized that there is a little ‘x’ on the upper right corner of each one. You can click on that and remove the ad! Yay! Facebook even sends you a little message, telling you that you can hide “all ads from said company”. I clicked on that, of course, within two seconds of finding it! Then Facebook asks you why. I clicked “uninteresting” the first time. And the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth times, too.
The next day? Screaming yellow muumuu. “Plop” goes my ice cream spoon. “Click” on the ‘x’ again. This time I hit “offensive” as my reason for sending the fat lady away.
Two hours later: Fat lady, bright red dress, oozing flesh. Click, click, click! After a while, I started to hit “other” as my reason for removing the image. Then FB asked me to explain. “I am not dieting.” was my first response, but as each day goes by and she keeps coming back to haunt me like a dish of spicy chili, my responses have become more and more shrill.
I have been reduced to fighting with the invisible, snarky robots who run Facebook’s ads.
This is how the conversation seems to be going now.
Fat lady in green: You’re a whale, Karen. You know that, right?
me: Shut up!!! I own an elliptical machine!
Fat lady in yellow: Yeah. You have to actually get ON it once in a while. Step away from the donut, girlfriend.
me: Go away! Offensive! Repetitive! Stop!!
Fat lady in pink: Seriously. You look like a manatee. You are two pounds away from asking to borrow my dress.
me: I HATE YOU, DR. OZ!! STOP TORTURING ME!
So, my friends and relations, I have two questions:
1) WHY are these ads popping up over and over? Is Dr. Oz after me? How do they know I’m “big boned”?
2) Should I keep up my fight, or just give in and try to lose a few of these extra little love handles?
What’s your FB experience been like? Do you get ads for anything less offensive than this?