Stalked by Dr. Oz

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.


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?

18 thoughts on “Stalked by Dr. Oz

  1. LOL!
    Those ads are not nearly as smart as they are supposed to be. Last June, when my mobile phone contract was up I spent considerable time researching what was available before choosing. After quite a while, many article read, and more than a few good friends conferred with I finally settled on a Samsung Galaxy S3. I haven’t regretted it; I love the thing. Fact is that since I got it I completely stopped using the iPad altogether as the ‘phone did everything I used to do on it. I only use the laptop half the time too.
    Now, here’s the thing: several weeks AFTER I purchased the phone my online presence–Facebook, Google, Youtube and such started getting bombarded with ads for the Galaxy S3. Obviously FB and Google, etc. had been watching my online searches and such (they make no pretense of doing that) and decided that I was in the market.
    Fact is, though, they were too bloody late. I already had it. Not that smart, eh?

    OK–now, out of curiosity I just checked my FB ads. Let’s see:
    1–something about learning to sing. OK they are partly right. I love playing guitar and often search for tabs etc.o they must have picked up on that.
    2–something called a ‘discrete catheter for men.’
    I feel so old :>)


    • Hahaha!
      I know! I keep getting “wrinkle cream”, too, as well as “Mom is 57, looks 27” (I am about to turn 57). I just can’t figure out the fat lady one….she’s scaring me! Ten minutes after I wrote the post, there were TWO versions of that photo on my FB page……I ran for my elliptical machine….


  2. I get the same ads! What are they trying to tell me?! I do find it disturbing that if I type the word ‘chocolate’ in my status update, the next day there are several Godiva ads. I really do manage to stay away from FB for the most part. But then…my kids aren’t on there yet.


  3. I have a severe Facebook addiction. In fact, that is where I have been for the past few months. I have a new rule: Every time I “like” a post. I have to do 25 sit-ups, and every time I update my own status; 50 sit-ups. I call it Facebook Fitness. Needless to say, I am back to blogging and commenting on blogs (I guess I need a rule for that as well).


    • Oh, man, I love that idea!!!! I think I’ll adopt it….
      And I bet we can think of a blogging equivalent, right? Of course, right now I have been using “for every new post I write, I eat a tube of Thin Mints”…
      I’m really happy that you’re back out here! I’ve missed you!


  4. I’ve never joined Facebook. I was afraid my son wouldn’t friend me and I would be crushed.

    But I did research toilet purchases on the internet once. I got ads for toilets for about 2 years. Did you know that there are toilets are so good you can flush 25 golf balls? I became a toilet expert in a whole different way during those two years.


    • Hahaha! I actually learned about the toilet-golf ball connection when we bought a new toilet a couple of years ago! I haven’t flushed any gold balls down since then to try it out, but I have faith!
      I think I’ll research, “Good looking men” and see what pops up!


      • I get the same four handsome guys every time I log on, too, and really, I never researched them. They must be total jerks, though, because they have been available for several years.


  5. I stopped paying any attention to the ads about a month after I got my account. At first I went through and clicked off the ads in which I had no interest, but when I saw that it made absolutely no difference whatsoever, I just stopped looking at them. I may, in fact, have developed a blind spot on that side of my vision — I’d better be more careful when I’m driving!

    Your post had one good result, however: I’m gonna go to the fridge and get out that quart of ice cream that’s been calling my name…


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