So here’s a thing.
I don’t make much of my birthday – it’s not published on Facebook so it generally passes quietly with a few old friends mustering a text which I like. (Apologies I don’t often make much of other people’s either.) But Facebook knows when my birthday is and so therefore do all the advertisers. Yes I could lie but then I forget when my fake birthday is and get locked out of accounts etc … so I use my birthday.
Recently I have noticed that the ads in my FB feed are all targeted at what Facebook advertisers seem to think is the mid-life crisis I must be facing as I leave my 40 plus Vat year. (I’m old enough to have learned mental arithmetic: do the maths).
My hair is grey and I’m not overly worried about my laughter and grief lines. I accept that I don’t have the iridescent skin of a 20 year old and never will have again.
Ageist and sexist adverts are everywhere aimed at the generality of a population on the move. If you buy magazines, you know that you’ll see them. I accept that FB is a big magazine too and advertising is part of the price of its apparent “freeness” But through FB advertising and its vile algorithms (showing you stuff “we think you’ll be interested in”) in the last few weeks, I personally am being urged to buy face creams, dye my hair, take health cures and generally try to be Canute sitting on the beach ( not in a burqa obvs but also probably not in a bikini in case I gross people out) – Those advertisers know nothing about me – they assume this aging business is of concern to me, because it should be -…. How could I be of any value if I don’t continue to strive to be young. Oh dear.
Well that’s rude, it’s wrong and it’s not how I choose to live.
It’s probably misoygyny (I don’t know if men approaching 50 get the same) and it’s certainly ageist.
I’m sure Facebook will remind me next week that’s it’s my birthday ( as they don’t seem to realise that we’re capable of remembering our own anniversaries) – if you really want to wish me a Happy Birthday Facebook, back off on the adverts algorithm.
I hope you all have a great bank holiday wearing inappropriate clothes and letting it all hang out!