The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Susannigans: Facebook Ads Assume a Lot

2 min read


After completing the arduous task of changing my relationship status to “single” on my profile last week, I was ready to embark on my usual post-break-up ritual of impromptu pedicures and several private screenings of “High Fidelity.” Little did I know that along with John Cusack, Facebook would attempt to console me as well. There it was, the day after my break-up was made digitally official, an ad for an online dating service. The ad was as follows:

Looking for love? It can be hard to find the one. Meet other single gay women at Lesbo-net online dating.

Whoa. Hold up. Gay? Women? Other gay women? Is Facebook trying to tell me something?

Now I’m about as gay-friendly as they come. If I had a car, it would have a Human Rights Campaign bumper sticker right next to the “Virginia is for lovers” one. But even though I own two seasons of “The L Word” on DVD, I have not pulled a Lindsay Lohan. I am, unfortunately, still attracted to men.

So why would the omniscient Facebook think otherwise?

According to the ad section of the site, the ads that appear on your Facebook pages are targeted toward you based on your age, gender, and other information listed in your profile, apparently excluding sexual orientation. In addition to the fact that my Facebook profile explicitly states that I am interested in men, I do not include Katy Perry in my list of favorite music.

Along with several ads for homosexual dating services, Facebook posted some ads for heterosexual dating sites as well, just to let me know my options were still open. Each link has some kind of ploy to rub my newfound solitude in my face.
Some examples:

Tired of being lonely? Want to meet hotties with steamy bodies? Visit and talk to five guys in five minutes!

Click here to meet hot singles while losing 20 pounds and lowering your mortgage!”

And my personal favorite:

Just break up? Use these secret psychological tactics to win back the heart and mind of any man or woman.

I am not so much offended by the fact that Facebook initially assumed my break-up (which was, just to clarify, with someone of the male persuasion) was horrible enough make me switch teams. I am more slighted by the notion that Facebook assumed I was so upset about the break-up at all. Where are the ads that say it’s okay to be 20 years old and single? Where is the ad announcing the release of Kelly Clarkson’s next album?

Thanks for the effort Facebook, but I think I’ve got this one. Gay or straight, I don’t need your help finding someone. I’ve got a lot more to offer than 875 tagged photos and a clever status update.