Friday, July 03, 2020

New notes on Facebook

Yes, yes, Facebook. Carry on spying. I visited Lithub. Show me all the Lithub you've got now. The worst material there might be on Lithub, you've presented to me. Does it not strike you that I am already acquainted with Lithub, outside of you? That I visit other literary sites without any prodding from you, and therefore you bring me nothing I don't already have? What's the point of this? Think, Facebook. Think a little harder about what you want from me.


Update: I thought Facebook and I were starting to level with each other. It figured out that I do 'buy' stuff online but not via FB, and also that I am a mindless consumer of news and trivia items out of a box vaguely labelled 'culture'. Armed with the least and the most valuable items in the information bazaar, it wrestles with my timeline. It *will* have my time and attention if it cannot have my money. Except that we now live in an attention economy (about which you may want to read this wonderful book (free download: https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/stand-out-of-our-light/3F8D7BA2C0FE3A7126A4D9B73A89415D) and therefore attention is money.

However, FB is also chasing me with 'leisure' garments. It really does spy. It knows I finally caved in and made an online purchase of cloth (and yes, I've got the ad settings fixed and yes, I would prefer it if it did not spy). I must confess that Fareeda Gupta has latched onto the right idea - home-ish clothes that can double up as sleepwear, but the top looks enough like a kurta that you might wear to work, and is therefore suitable for online meetings.

There are the 'festival edit' ads too, ahead of Bakreid. One gharara suit-set costs as much as two goats, or a goat and two chickens. Not buying. 

It does persevere with sarees too. It knows that anyone who wears them, wants them. But it doesn't yet know that I am put off by anything that advertises itself as being favoured by 'independent' women. I am only mildly amused at branding that suggests that independent minds prefer to be led by the auto-suggestion of independence via nice fabric and photography. Anyway, to save Facebook the trouble, I thought I'd help it make some ad choices for me. Try showing me a brand that isn't trying very hard. 

P.S: about those 'luxe' ads, I can't make out whether they're for the dishes or the food arranged on the dishes. Not buying. Just saying.





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