Monday, January 5, 2009

Facebook thinks I'm gay.

In those first heady days of signing up for Facebook, when the friend land grab begins and barely remembered high school acquaintances show up at your virtual door with a "Wow! What are YOU up to???", the construction of the profile is very important. One even might say an obsession. Hours are spent hunched over a keyboard cataloging personal information: likes and dislikes, bands loved, television shows hated, quotes that reveal the totality of your humanity in the most nonchalant but alluring way.

Attention must also be paid to the Basic Information segment of the profile. It's an area that can be a foregone in favor of sexier information like music or movies, but in order to keep things clear it's a good idea to get the essentials taken care of:

Networks: Chicago, IL
Sex: Female
Birthday: November 25, 1973
Hometown: Redacted
Interested In: Women, Men
Looking For: Friendship, Networking
Nothing in this portion of my profile is untrue, but I think one field in particular is confusing. When I first joined Facebook, I wasn't single, so I was only interested in Friends and Networking (and this is still the case). When it asked me who I was interested in, of COURSE I was going to say "Women, Men"...who doesn't want to network and be friends with "Women, Men"?

It wasn't until a few months later that my friend Tina offered her impression of my profile. Apparently, I am bi-sexual.

Oh.

Really?

That's exotic.

The level of my own bisexuality has always been a subject of some discussion between me and my friends (especially since I made the somewhat blithe announcement that I was bisexual in college. It turns out that I am not. At least, not in the strict "I pursue sexual relationships with both men and women" sense. I had one girl kiss me and because "nothing moved" - as they say - I have been hetero as Wonder Bread ever after.). I tend to exist on that androgynous plane of wearing men's clothes on a semi-regular basis. I am not above noting when a woman is attractive and if I were ever to meet the right person - male or female - I don't suppose I would turn away.

(And I have my requisite list of "go-gay-fors" [or, if one is on the other side of it "go-straight-fors"]...I think we all do - that conversation filler we break out after two or three beers. The list includes Kate Winslet and Rachel Maddow which I fear is sort of a bore. Whaddaya know, talent and brains are attractive.)

Regardless of these grey areas of sexual preference, Facebook has taken it upon itself to help me out. No doubt, if you are a regular Facebooker, you have noticed the advertisements along the sides of the screen. The ones that seem strangely apt no matter how often you hit the refresh button.

This is the new wave of advertising. The "Ad Generator-bot", searches your page for words to match to an appropriate product or service. In my case, these:



It took me a while to figure out why this was happening. Oh, right. Because I said I am interested in "Women, Men".

And you know what? I AM still interested in "Women, Men" for "Networking, Friends", so why change it? If Facebook wants to waste its ad dollars on telling me about vacations with friendly girl-next-door lesbians, then so be it.

I could use a tan.

7 comments:

Jerry said...

It's complicated.

joe g said...

If it's any consolation, AOL thinks I'm a hispanic woman. All of their promo emails are in Spanish and all of the health/dating/diet tips are aimed at women.


...for the record, I am neither hispanic nor female.

Amanda said...

I've been getting mail from AARP for about five years now. And when I put in my phone number at Dominick's for discounts on groceries, I am listed as Paul Delgado.

It's kind of comforting to be labeled so incorrectly. It makes me feel mischievous and indestructible.

NotNits said...

Attracted to sheer, physical hotness? Oh, no. Not Jen.

Talent and brains, all the way.

My, how deep you are.

-j-j- said...

Fine, FINE. The fact that both of them are gorgeous doesn't hurt.

Can't you leave me alone in my facade of non-appearance-based self-righteousness?

Henri D said...

Because I know you like trivia:

Even if the stomach, the spleen, 80 percent of the intestines, one kidney, one lung, and virtually every organ from the pelvic and groin area are removed, the human body can still survive. And even if 80 percent of your liver were removed, the remaining part would continue to function. Within a few months, the liver would have reconstituted itself to its original size!

Anonymous said...

it means "sexually interested in"

 
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