The “What does Facebook think of me?” game - judging the kind of person I apparently am by the kind of sidebar ads I get - has taken an interesting turn.
Until very recently, Facebook’s opinion of me was that I was a total scrub. Despite being listed as married, all the ads were about casinos, lonely housewives, hair loss treatments, brides-of-the-world, easy credit… all sleaze most of the time, basically.
This has suddenly and dramatically changed. The current line-up of ads includes:
- Widowed photographer learns passion for life after 40
- Dude, it’s time to build a conservatory
- "Home Inspiration"
- Schools Fining Parents: Classic Or Dud?
- and - yes! - MOTORBIKES WE KNOW YOU WANT ONE
With this last in particular I feel I have really arrived in 40somethingland.
But what on earth did I do to achieve this metaphorphosis from lecherous slob to Facebook Dad?
The answer seems to lie in FB’s lens on my marriage. I was listed as married to my real actual wife, Isabel. Which seems fair enough on the surface of it. But Isabel signed up for Facebook 5 years ago and never visited it again, with the result that she had 1 other friend and a blank profile.In other words, I reckon Facebook had noticed that I was “married” to a blatantly non-existent (in FB terms) person and decided in its all-powerful algorithmic brain that “married to fake woman” meant I got its special “shady scumbag” tranche of ads.
BUT! Isabel has now signed up again on a different email, so last week I callously abandoned her fake profile and am listed simply as “married”. Until she ticks the notification box to confirm I’m married *to her*, I am in a benefit of the doubt limbo where I get the most generic 40something dude advertising ever.
(Or of course, Facebook knows me even better than I know myself, and I DO want a conservatory.)