Arghh! You are saying. (exactly how do you pronounce arghh?) Do we really need to know about her friggin’ fibroid history? Do we really care about the dirty little details of her aging reproductive tract?
Actually, no you don’t. But apparently facebook did because they saw it fit to target me with this ad for a fibroid clinical trial.
Do I have fibroids? Not anymore because I had those babies yanked out about 4 years ago with my uterus if you really must know. (oh jeez, is there no end to this level of discomfort?) Good news: I can wear white pants whenever I want. I digress.
The question is, did facebook’s magic algorithm figure to target me with a fibroid trial because of my age, or because fibroids have been mentioned more than once on this very blog? (this blog is listed in networked blogs on facebook)
One will never really know the answer to that or the other mind-boggling questions of the universe. But it is safe to say either one or both of those could have gotten that ad on my page.
The reason I have chosen to share all this with you now is that it comes at such a timely juncture in our online lives; in a week where facebook’s ‘invasion’ of our privacy has been questioned ad nauseum. Users are in an uproar about how much of their profile information will be shared.
Well, the reality is kiddies, the info is out there for the taking. Not just on facebook, but all over the web. This article by Micheal Bush in Ad Age illustrates quite well how a digital profile can be gathered without much effort. Public information, as they say. Creepy, on some level but really who cares?
What are we afraid of? Well, me? I am not afraid of a whole hell of a lot. I don’t want to have my identity stolen and I don’t want to be stalked by creeps in real life. I agree with Micheal Bush, I don’t think that is the goal of marketers. Their goal is to reach their target market; the very people that are most likely to be their customers. To me, that’s not so terrible. Because if I had a facebook ad for string bikinis on my page I would only become depressed that my fibroid/uterus free body has no business squeezing into one. Or if you would be more mundane, I would not like to see ads for diapers.
I am both too old and thankfully too young to be buying any kind of diapers real soon.
Do you get where I am going with this? Does the fact that I have been in the business of marketing brands for the past (never mind how many) years taint my opinion? Maybe. Does my love (read obsession) for social media further color my feeling about this? Hell yeh.
Personally, I sort of think it is worth it to give up a little false sense of privacy to have the access to this kind of information. On a serious note, when I was trying to decide what to do about those damn fibroids, I would have welcomed the information that ad was offering me. (instead of torturing poor Dr. Judy for weeks about what I should do. Thanks again Jude, I will never forget your patience, I owe you a drink)