Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ah, social media

I've posted here before about the pitfalls of using Facebook when TTC.  Pregnancy announcements and ultrasound photos from old coworkers, friends and acquaintances leap onto our news feeds without warning, leaving us feeling slapped in the face or gut-punched.  Some fertiles even post photos of their HPTs seemingly not long after the pee has dried.

In addition to that downside to Facebook, I've also been annoyed by other things about it.  The memes that people post talking about how much they love their kids/husband/siblings/parents/best friend.  The (seemingly non-stop during election season) religious and political posts.  The game invitations (most of which I have, thankfully, figured out how to block).  The friend requests from people I don't know, or from people I do know but have no interest in reconnecting with.

Don't get me wrong. For the most part, I actually enjoy Facebook. I like seeing photos and posts from old friends, and I've reconnected with at least 20 people through that site that I likely never would've heard from again otherwise.  It's a fun way to connect with people who I don't see every day.

My latest annoyance/puzzler on Facebook is the ads.  From what I've read, the ads you see are supposed to be targeted toward your interests, which Facebook gleans from the things you post.  So when I see ads for baby products or for Weight Watchers or for activities in my city, I get it.  I live where I live, I'm fat, and I have two babies.

I'm also not surprised when I get random ads for products I don't use.  It's not a big leap from my "liking" a page for Hatch Green Chile to think I might like to try a new salsa.  (Plus, I live in the Southwest.  Who here doesn't like salsa?)  I may not drink alcohol, but ads for various alcoholic beverages likewise don't surprise me; I figure they're just targeting women in my age range.

But some of the ads really leave me scratching my head.  One I've seen nearly every day for the last month is for "chronic constipation."  I've been getting another one for HIV treatment.  I saw one this morning inviting me to participate in a clinical study for epilepsy.  I suffer from none of these ailments and am not too sure why Facebook thinks these ads would interest me.

More disturbing to me, I've also gotten a few ads for marriage counseling!  I am 100% certain that I have never posted anything even remotely negative about MM or our relationship on Facebook: I'm not one to publicly air my dirty laundry (well, except for on this blog), and both MM and I loathe spouses communicating with one another through Facebook (you live together, just talk to each other. . . or email, text, etc.), so I don't even post "my husband is the greatest" type stuff on there.
Maybe the site just assumes that anyone who is parenting twins must have a marriage on the rocks?  I don't know.  It's a puzzler for sure.

Rest assured, my marriage is happy.  I suppose we could all benefit from marriage counseling at some time or other, but I don't think I'll be clicking on any of those Facebook ads any time soon.


  1. It doesn't just target you based on your FB history, but your whole browsing history -- they "cookie" you, and serve up ads based on where you've been before. You probably get those ads because of your profession, if you ever use your computer for websites associated with nursing.

  2. I think the ads assume that if you're married, you must need counseling. LOL

    I'm so sick of "happy anniversary to the BESTEST spouse in the whole entire world - you are my life, my love, my everything!" posts. Our 11th anniversary is coming up and I think I'll post something like "11 years ago, I married the biggest dork on the face of the planet, and he still hasn't taken me to Hawaii. Jerkface."

  3. I'm always puzzled by the random ads as well...
    Thanks for your comment on my blog! I'm definitely going to be reading up on your blog to get some tips on twins! We have no idea what we're doing...

  4. FB ads drive me crazy. I put an ad blocker on my browser so I wouldn't have to see them, because they were *always* about pregnancy. Either it was a can't-lose scheme to get pregnant naturally, or it was a clinic offering IVF, or it was a "crisis pregnancy center" asking if I had considered giving my baby up for adoption. Seriously mixed messages! And I have never, not once, put anything on FB about pregnancy or babies.

  5. I can never figure those FB ads out either. I often debate whether or not to delete my profile from FB. I like to be connected with my friends/family etc, but I don't really like the lack of control of my private information and FB' ability to datamine it.

  6. Back in 2008, I quit facebook. It was just too painful due to IF. Then in January 2012, I decided to re-open my account. Too be honest, I am soooo bored of FB too. For the exact same reasons you mention. But I do enjoy connecting with the friends that post interesting things from time to time, but mostly it annoys me. I haven't logged on in over 3 weeks!! But I also haven't blogged in almost 2 months?! Post coming soon...just been sooo busy. Great to hear from you!


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