September 24th, 2014


The Great Facebook Marriage Experiment, Part 5: I R RESPNSBLE GRONUP! *not*

I've been a heterosexual woman for just over a week.

It took Facebook about 20 minutes to notice I'd changed gender and start showing me pictures of men. It took them.. oh wait, they never got around to showing me men at all when I was a man-who-likes-men for a week. This suggests that either preferred sexuality is not relevant to the algorithm in the face of gender, and gender-normative stereotypes prevail - or that the advertisers themselves forget to specify that they want to target gay men as well as hetero women with their pictures of Blokes Waiting For You.

The other thing about these blokes that is quite different from the ladies I was shown when I was a hetero guy, is that my new lot of blokes are age-appropriate. I am being shown Over 40 Life Partners, almost exclusively. Now, it's not as though when I was a guy I was pretending to be 25 - I was still 44. But apparently if you're a woman, finding a bloke who's in your age group is so important as to be the only option you get given.

I am struggling to get my head around the reasons for this. Yes yes I know, stereotypes again, the bloke should always be older and aging is a much bigger deal to women... um, what? Why?

However, a few days ago something weird happened. It stopped showing me men. Like, completely. I haven't changed my relationship status, gender or sexuality. I haven't even been all smoochy with Dr Wheel (or anyone else) online. I did make a post about someone I overheard describing Bunnings as 'a man shop' but you'd think that'd give me more ads for man shops, right? Nope.

So what has Facebook decided I'm interested in now?

Money. And dresses. Not necessarily in that order. I think maybe the money thing is because over the election period I've talked a bit about political stuff, and politically-oriented people are assumed to have money? I don't know, but I know I've been offered credit cards, home loans, and 'ethical financial investment'. And dresses. And shoes.

Facebook has decided I'm rich, hasn't it?

Because I'm 44, heterosexual, single, and talk about politics. And possibly they know I have a mortgage because of crawly-spying that they do on visitation to other sites.

The weirdest thing? They show me different ads at home from what I see when at work. At work I get more money-oriented ads, at home I get more dresses and shoes.

I don't have the heart to tell them that both the trees they are barking up are the wrong ones. I do still like men, I'm unlikely to invest through a company that advertises on Facebook, and the shoes and dresses they are showing me are a) hideous and b) cheap, which implies that they are probably made in a place/way that clashes horribly with my supposed desire for ethical investment.

I kind of feel like I should start selectively clicking things to see if I can get my man shops back.

And then become a lesbian. Mwuahahahaa!