Facebook and ‘Targeted Advertising’

(Rant Warning!!)

So, Facebook, I’ve changed my relationship status.

Yes, I’m a forty-plus year-old woman, and it now says that horrifying, mortifying word – ‘single’. Apparently, I’ve shifted demographic and found myself in Hell.

No longer am I a happy and successful Mum, career professional, writer, fighter, fitness fanatic; no longer am I exactly what I was a word-replacement ago. That one change, that one little thing, has torn a massive hole in my feminine credibility.

And through it seethe the advertisers, minions of Cthulhu.

I can cope with the dating site ads – I’ve no wish to sign up to Zoosk at the minute, but I understand why they’re there. Fairy snuff.

What really fucking bugs me are these: –

eHarmony – no, I’m not looking for a life-partner. Perhaps I may be in the future, but for the moment, I’m enjoying my independence. Do single guys get eHarmony ads? Or is this the adult version of Jackie magazine – all girls really want is a boyfriend? I think someone’s been watching too much Twilight.

Dress ads for ‘plus’ sizes – when I changed status, I didn’t automatically gain five stone. I could put an upright and a guy line in the dresses you’re offering me and use them as tents. In fact, offering me the tent would far be more sodding useful.

Self-help books – you fucking what now? So, I’m looking for a life-partner while comfort-eating cream cakes and reading ‘How To Start Over Yet Again’. Are you seriously scanning my keywords or have your malfunctioned here?

Wedding advice – this one left me speechless. Because I’m a single woman, I must want to get married. Would this be before or after I fit the size 32 dress?

Fertility treatment – my absolute favourite. It has to be a mistake – I’m single and over forty and it’s offering me what..?! I’m only guessing that after I gain five stone, fit the hot tent-dress, finish the self-help book and get married, then 2.2 children (all right 1.2 children) will complete my life.

Oh look, I’m a formula. That’s so much easier to manage!

Seriously, marketeer or no, this is too much. It’s assumptive, it’s insulting and it skating closely round the edge of outright sexist. Yes, I realise that demographic streamlining has become a part of our existence and that we all get boxed into corners who’s angles don’t fit – but if you’re going to target ads, that for chrissakes target them efficiently.

And that means I’m an individual. I’m exactly the same individual that I was when I had that diamond on my finger.

If this is your ‘targeted advertising’, then you may want to adjust your sights.

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