?

Log in

The great Facebook marriage experiment, part 1 - Tactical Ninja

Aug. 7th, 2014

08:46 am - The great Facebook marriage experiment, part 1

Previous Entry Share Next Entry

Last night I got married. On Facebook. To tieke (not, as Dr Wheel suggested, a chiselled foundry worker who looks like Jonathan Rhys-Myers).

I did it because yesterday I noticed that the ads up the side of the page were following a theme or two. They were trying to sell me adventure holidays, Irritable Bowel Syndrome support groups, and Single Men Over 40 Waiting For You! To which I went "Hmm, Facebook has a very strange idea of what sort of person I am."

Naturally, I got curious about whether they'd continue to show me the Single Men if I were married. So I got married. And being curious whether Facebook would recognise a same sex marriage, I proposed to tieke. Turns out that FB does recognise same sex marriage. Next up, does Facebook recognise poly marriages? To find out, I've now also proposed to Dr Wheel.

So anyway, it seems that since I got married, Facebook is now trying to sell me mostly travel (now to New Plymouth instead of Adventure Locations*), plastic surgery, endometriosis support groups, and children's clothing. Within 10 minutes of getting married I got an ad exhorting me to "Get Rid Of Your Mummy Tummy!" - to which I was all "Wow, that was fast!" And in the pictures in the ads, my kids (two of them) are now about 5 and 7.

Meanwhile, my wife is clearly the breadwinner - she's currently getting ads for iPhone covers, business cards, coffee, and credit. I fear this will change her..

Also, I'm amused by the way that when I talk publicly about Facebook ads, I get at least two people informing me about AdBlock. I do actually know about AdBlock, but I choose not to use it because I'm interested in the ads from a sociological perspective, and also amused by them. My partner is an AI geek, remember, and works with machine learning amongst other things. So targeted advertising is a source of interest and amusement, in comparing what the software thinks I'll be interested in vs what I'm actually interested in, and how much of a reflection of a person's online persona these things really are. It is also pretty funny.

I get a similar thing when I talk about reading the comments. There's always someone who says "Don't read the comments!" as if this is a bestowed wisdom that all people should be enlightened by.

Confession time: I *like* reading the comments. Yes, sometimes they piss me off, but again they have academic value for me as a student of sociology - especially one who's interested in changing the opinion of the masses about a polarising topic. Knowing what the opinion of the masses is and how it will be expressed in its most raw form, is something that has value for me. And also, there is often comedy gold in the comments. If I were to take the advice of the well-meaning internet people who tell me I shouldn't read the comments, my life would be less rich, and I'd be less educated and less entertained.

Some people would say that ads and internet comments don't add much to the richness of life, and that's fine, for them. Me, I like that stuff. I am not above it, in fact I deliberately choose to experience it, even though AdBlock has existed for years and "Don't read the comments" is in every thread that mentions the comments ever. Because I'm contrary like that.

* Please correct me if you've been to New Plymouth and it is actually an adventure location.

Tags:

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:jenny_evergreen
Date:August 6th, 2014 09:10 pm (UTC)
(Link)
*laugh* I hear you. I'm the "all things in moderation" sort myself.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:August 6th, 2014 09:15 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Yep, sometimes you just have to walk away. But mostly I stay and laugh. ;-)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:kehleyr
Date:August 14th, 2014 08:15 pm (UTC)
(Link)
lol
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:pundigrion
Date:August 6th, 2014 09:40 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I hear Plymouth rocks. Or at least their chooks do!

This sounds like a fascinating experiment!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:August 6th, 2014 09:42 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Maybe the chickens in New Plymouth are new-age ones.

Also, I haven't seen an ad for Single Men since I got married. But one of my male friends who's been on Facebook forever and always had married status, has had to work quite hard to get rid of the ads for Single Ladies. I am somewhat bemused by this.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:fbhjr
Date:August 6th, 2014 11:16 pm (UTC)
(Link)
It is very interesting how they target ads.
I'm not sure I'd do it with my main account, but it is tempting to see how it would react if you put in some less than standard answers...
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:August 6th, 2014 11:19 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Heh. I couldn't care less about my Facebook account, so I'm happy to perform experiments in alternative lifestyles. If you have any ideas, let me know!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:fbhjr
Date:August 6th, 2014 11:48 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I was thinking about what the ads might be like if you said you lived somewhere like Antarctica or something like that.
http://xkcd.com/713/
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:August 6th, 2014 11:54 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Thanks to this brilliant contribution, we are about to find out. ;-)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:crsg
Date:August 6th, 2014 11:21 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I used to live in New Plymouth, and I can assure you it's not an adventure location. (Unless having Mt. Taranaki around counts.)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:August 6th, 2014 11:26 pm (UTC)
(Link)
As I suspected.

Not sure how they explain this though...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:m_danson
Date:August 7th, 2014 02:59 am (UTC)
(Link)
I keep getting ads for pardons.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:August 7th, 2014 09:10 pm (UTC)
(Link)
That is an interesting development...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 7th, 2014 03:03 am (UTC)
(Link)
Don't read the comments!

- wheel
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tedwords
Date:August 7th, 2014 03:21 am (UTC)
(Link)
I do hope you are all very happy together. As a wedding gift, I bought you an Irritable Bowel Syndrome support group.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:August 7th, 2014 09:12 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Aww, thanks! Just what I've always wanted - until I got married. Apparently now I need eyelid surgery instead.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tedwords
Date:August 8th, 2014 02:58 am (UTC)
(Link)
I will save up my pennies for you...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:August 8th, 2014 03:02 am (UTC)
(Link)
It's ok, I'm now deceased and so I won't be needing that facelift after all. Weirdly, Facebook hasn't yet noticed this new development and is still trying to sell me sunglasses.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:kotturinn
Date:August 7th, 2014 09:40 am (UTC)
(Link)
I'm agog to hear how the poly marriage and move to Antarctica work out. As someone who won't touch Facebook with the proverbial bargepole, it has a certain fascination to read about people gaming it!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:August 7th, 2014 09:12 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Antarctica has affected nothing, but I'm not allowed to have a poly marriage, or even a relationship. ;-/
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:jaelle_n_gilla
Date:August 7th, 2014 10:14 am (UTC)
(Link)
You know.... there's AdBlock! *scnr* *g*

I love that experiment. Let me know if they accepted poly marriages.

Someone on my LJ f.list used to talk about Queer As Folk a lot and shortly after that I got side ads that wanted to sell me gay jewelry. Some of it quite pretty. For some time I couldn't figure out why - until I checked and found her Queer As Folk entries. Ha.

I used AdBlockers for a while, especially for the flickery, unnerving kinds, but it keeps screwing up my browser. I don't really see ads with my conscious mind anyway.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:August 7th, 2014 09:13 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Sadly, I'm not allowed to be poly on Facebook. I can marry my sister though...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:jaelle_n_gilla
Date:August 8th, 2014 07:58 am (UTC)
(Link)
*ROTFL* Ok, so they have a one-on-one algorithm to marriage but they don't check either gender or relationship (probably because people are lying about that on FB anyway).

I'd try if you can have more than one less-than-marriage relationship. What's that status again? "In a steady relationship" or "it's complicated" or some such. But I bet that's the same algorithm behind that.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:August 8th, 2014 08:00 am (UTC)
(Link)
Yep. We've tried a bunch of different permutations and it seems you're not allowed to be in a relationship with more than one person at a time. You have to pick someone to be complicated with. O.o
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:jaelle_n_gilla
Date:August 8th, 2014 09:16 am (UTC)
(Link)
I saw the entry just now and couldn't stop laughing!!!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:ms_hecubus
Date:August 7th, 2014 12:44 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I always read the comments, but I still say not to do it. I don't hear it as advice when people say it to me, but as commiseration since they're obviously comment readers too. Kind of a way of acknowledging we belong to the same self-torturous club.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:August 7th, 2014 09:14 pm (UTC)
(Link)
That's a good way of looking at it. ;-)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:thesecondcircle
Date:August 7th, 2014 04:16 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I purchased my husband some nice sleepwear online as a gift. Until I cleared my cookies my laptop was constantly showing me adds of hot men in underwear. Some of the underwear was, er, edgier than typical (more recreational than functional). Normally I wouldn't mind, except that it was my work laptop.

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:August 8th, 2014 03:03 am (UTC)
(Link)
For some reason, my mental picture of recreational men's underwear includes a propeller.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:plantgirl
Date:August 9th, 2014 03:14 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I'm really glad I wasn't drinking a beverage when I read this.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:didotwite
Date:August 7th, 2014 06:03 pm (UTC)
(Link)
here's an article about how Target knows you're pregnant. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/magazine/shopping-habits.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

this is now shorthand among my friends and me. "oh, and i'm pregnant, btw. target told me."

(or Woolworth's. or whatever you have down there :) )
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:August 7th, 2014 09:16 pm (UTC)
(Link)
We have The Warehouse. In Maori ware is pronounced 'worry' and the word for house is whare, which is pronounced like 'worry' but with an f instead of a w.

So The Warehouse is actually called the Warewhare.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:didotwite
Date:August 7th, 2014 06:04 pm (UTC)
(Link)
p.s. will take chiseled j.r-m. in facebook commitment ceremony if still available
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:August 7th, 2014 09:14 pm (UTC)
(Link)
He is available, mostly because I couldn't make him my spouse while already married, so I made him my cousin instead.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:didotwite
Date:August 7th, 2014 06:06 pm (UTC)
(Link)
p.p.s. have also had a lot of issues trying to tweak Pandora to not show me Boob ads while playing my music. my friend has even bigger issues with getting it to not PLAY sex toy ads while she's listening at work! apparently you need to ratchet to non-explicit settings for M-F. i changed myself from a 70 y.o. man (who apparently is totes fine with dating fictional boobular 20 year-olds, along with buying Kia cars and checking into the cancer center at the local hospital) to an 85 y.o. woman. now i get dude ads where they're all wearing shirts, and more hospitals. no cars. that's kind of sad, but i was tired of boobs.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:August 7th, 2014 09:15 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I am surprised you were not offered more facelifts. Although maybe at 85 they figure you're beyond it.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:villagecharm
Date:August 7th, 2014 07:48 pm (UTC)
(Link)
This is such a great idea.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tedwords
Date:August 8th, 2014 03:34 am (UTC)
(Link)
Talk about wearing your sunglasses in the dark!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:plantgirl
Date:August 9th, 2014 03:13 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I have been fascinated by the number of people saying "But AdBlock!" Hello, have they missed that you are doing this for entertainment? Oh, apparently so.

I used to be fascinated by the ads. Then for a while they were making me cranky, for personal reasons, so I AdBlocked. But I am tempted to load a different browser and run experiments on my alternate Fbook personas.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:adam_0oo
Date:August 11th, 2014 09:07 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Also, a lot of businesses and websites need your ad revenue, so turning off Ad Blocker has other benefits.
(Reply) (Thread)