WordPress lists blogs you might like based on posts and bloggers you’ve liked previously. Twitter suggests people you should follow based on who you already follow. Netflix suggests movies based on what you’ve liked, which is great, unless your kids use Netflix more than you do, because the chance that any adult home alone on a rainy day would chose to watch Caillou is none. Goodreads does the same. Pinterest emails you to tell you what’s popular right now. Amazon shows you what other people looked at when they looked at what you’re lookin at, just in case you’re missin out, plus related products. Facebook suggests everything and everyone all the time.
By far, I think Facebook’s suggestions are the funniest, because on Facebook, everything is data. Every word you type and everything you click leads to more suggestions.
You liked that one article on colic, so clearly you would like to read every article about babies, right?
Facebook wants to send you to the beds of hot singles in your area, and to college, and on a 6-day cruise, because you wrote somethin vague about lonely scholars on a schooner. Facebook doesn’t know you’re married, or that you have no interest in earning another teaching license, and that you’re terrified of sea monsters. It only knows the antidote for lonely scholars on schooners. When you really think about it, Facebook is actually trying to make you happy, like any clueless but well-meaning friend.
Speaking of, whether you have 150 friends or 15000 friends, Facebook insists you can never have enough friends, and furthermore, Facebook has a knack for suggesting the people you most want to avoid.
Just because you’re 40 years old doesn’t mean you won’t cave to peer pressure, either. “True and 12 other friends like Crochet.” DON’T YOU WANT TO LIKE IT, TOO?!?
“Beefy and Orb are reading Hell House,” DON’T YOU WANT TO READ IT, TOO?!?
So then you just know Pride and Prejudice is bein suggested to Beefy and Orb, and that all of your friends are probably bein told what you like, and they’re makin the same scrunched-up face you make each time it’s suggested you might like somethin you’re absolutely certain you will never like.
Somehow, my media knows I’m a mom. From my own marketing research, as a target, of course, I’ve concluded that all moms love Jesus, recipes that involve cutting foods into adorable shapes, darling diaper covers, and helpful parenting tips & tricks. Strangely, the moms I know are more into constant prayer to any deity who will listen, getting their kids to eat the food, despite it being shaped as said deity shaped it, crock pot meals, free anything, diapers that don’t leak, and helpful relatives who will take the children away…
Also, my name is Joey, so when I’m not being asked to pin Ten Easy Projects I Can Do While Nursing Hands-Free, my accounts are chockablock full of ads about erectile dysfunction meds and cute chicks who can’t wait to hook up with me.
The coupons dispensed after my grocery purchase tell the story of a woman who buys a lot of dairy products. That’s good marketing.
When I try to order a lipstick that’s no longer available, I like being offered similar choices. That’s good marketing.
When I’m buying a vacuum cleaner and they think I might also like a leather chair, that’s bad marketing.
I’ve accepted that I like a lot of things, and I’m open to a few suggestions, but people are better than bots. Sometimes I even do this old school thing where I say to my friends, “Lemme know if you like it!”
I have eyes and ears which are pretty good sources for what I might like to read, watch, cook, or purchase. Which is why, after not finding Gone Girl in the library the last four times we went, I went to Barnes & Noble to buy it. Imagine my surprise when the receipt included books I might like to read, based on the book I had just purchased.
It’s everywhere now.
May I recommend laughter?