Creepy Targeted Advertising

Welcome to the 21st century where privacy is a thing of the past.

I just got on Facebook a few months ago and at first didn’t pay much mind to the ads on the far right side of the screen.  Then one day, one of them caught my eye–CreateSpace, Amazon’s self-publishing arm.  Since I won a freebee for participating in and winning the 2009 NaNo, I winked and said to myself “too late I already got a coupon for it”,  and moved on.  Next came an ad that said, “Apple needs 49 yr olds to beta test iPads, keep device”.  Wow!  I’m 49!  What were the odds?  (My palm slapped the side of my head a few seconds later.)  So now I have a firsthand taste of how and why con artists target the elderly.  Doy!

My awareness is now heightened of this new thing called targeted advertising, or whatever the official name is, doesn’t matter other than it was gathered via personal info supplied for a different purpose.  But my main beef, aside from the breach of my privacy, is that I’m not too happy with what is being targeted my way.

Here’s what’s currently displayed on my Facebook Profile or My Yahoo inbox pages:

Slow Metabolism? Thyroid? Many OR women struggle with thyroid issues including weight gain & fatigue -even though conventional lab test show “normal”. Free Appt. (okay because I do have a family history of this except I don’t live in Oregon, close but not quite)

Make Less than $45k / year? You may qualify for a grant to go back to school
which comes with this picture: (shudder…scares the bejesus out of me every time it pops up)  I think his chances of starting a new career and increasing his income are pretty slim but perhaps I’m just being a negative Nelly.

Date Seniors in Your Area (and they are my age plus or minus a year or two and actually look good to me…though I don’t date anymore; my husband doesn’t allow it)

Omega-3 Blood Test NEW Check your Omega-3 Index. It may be your most important number for heart health! At home convenience. $129.95. (gee, I thought one of the best numbers for my heart was the number of minutes spent exercising it)

Trouble With Your Teen? The Academy at Sisters is a therapeutic boarding school for at-risk teen girls ages 13 to 18 years old. Located in beautiful Bend, OR. (except I have a teenaged son, not a daughter though he might appreciate the scenery…Bend, OR that is, ha!)

See Who Googled You? / See Who Found You
(apparently this dude did–>)

He’s cute in a redneck sort of way but I’ve no idea who he is.  I click “Like” every time but he never replies.  What’s that you say?  He’s just a model placed to entice me?  “Like” means keep repeating that ad?  No way!

And then others like:

Walking with Dinosaurs
Home Care Services
Lose Weight with Jillian Michaels
Sell Avon
University of Phoenix
Stock Trading

So somewhere, someone has decided that I’m fat and need to get into shape, go back to school so I can start a new career and get a better job and buy stocks and start dating men my own age if  the rednecks who are looking for me can’t find me.  During all this, I should sell Avon, do some freelance writing and eventually self-publish the great American novel.  In my spare time, not that I’ll have much of it, I can take Walks with Dinosaurs and reminisce about the good ol’ days.

I’ll get right on that.

3 thoughts on “Creepy Targeted Advertising

  1. Ha ha. Great post, Claire. I also get “me-specific” advertising…on my own site, no less! I get ads for ADHD medicines, self-publishing, and “Look at this [insert hometown here] mother who lost 40 pounds!” I think it’s all because of the cookies. And they don’t even taste good. *grumble*

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