Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dating advice from Facebook

A little while ago, my editor, Leyna Krow, complained that Facebook's sidebar ads, which are supposedly based on users' interests, were trying to find her a Jewish husband. After one "Jews: Don't Marry Non-Jews" ad too many, she posted a heartfelt rant on's blog. Now the networking site has some romantic input for me: A recent sidebar ad directed me to, no doubt the Internet's premier site for those who desire mates with pale skin, magenta hair, and any number of piercings. (In case you share my alleged taste, has some helpful tips on snagging an eligible Goth.)

My theory is that these targeted ads know both Leyna and me better than we know ourselves; they seem to be tapping into some dark corner of our subconscious. Forget that Ms. Krow doesn't require her dates to be Jewish, and that I prefer mine not to appear undead. In fact, forget everything we think we know. Facebook has been studying us for years, accumulating data points while watching our every move. If it thinks we want Jews and Goths, far be it from us to protest. Unless, of course, tomorrow's ads tell us what we really want is to make sweet love to Portuguese shrimp farmers. Facebook, may thy whimsical will be done.

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