Facebook is aging me, and I am not sure why. Its targeted advertising is adding three years to my age. I am not happy about this, even though nobody is seeing it but me. I am going public with this because I wanted to see if anybody else noticed something amiss with how FB is selling to them.
Long ago, when I signed up for Facebook, I put in my birth date, including the year. After a scare in which some dirtbag from Wales hijacked both my gmail and Facebook accounts (long story), I changed my personal profile on Facebook to make it less revealing to the outside world. I subtracted my family connections and a lot of other personal information and rigged it so other FB users can see my birthday but not the birth year. But while FB gives us the option not to show our birth year in our public profile, it does not allow us to dodge putting it in our private profile — the one it uses for its targeted ads.
So until my last birthday in September I was getting targeted ads for night creams, $5 face lifts and other products that turn back the clock. They all said things like “56-year-old mom looks 35,” and included a photo of a woman who clearly was no older than 35.
But since Sept. 20, when I turned 57, they started padding my age. I am now getting ads that include the words “60-year-old.” This morning I even got some selling pendants and music boxes that I can buy for my granddaughter, which I do not have yet.
I resent that they make us include our birth year in our FB profiles, as if it’s any of their business. It’s bad enough that they remind us of our age every day in those annoying targeted ads that pop up whenever I visit my home page. But I’m perplexed and more than a little annoyed that they have made me three years older. Did they think that once I got up to 57 I wouldn’t care if people overestimated my age?
Is FB callous or am I being too vain?