Now I Know Why I Hesitated to Join FB

In June I registered a Facebook account. I have been stoic for years and resisted this social medium with a great deal of zeal, but once I let the fun of Twitter in, I sort of felt I had to keep up the pace and open up an FB account too. In the name of promotion and such. It took a month before I added anything more than a very nice banner of my novel, and I’m still very unsure of what kind of focus this account of mine should have. Especially after today.

To tell you the story in a roundabout way: I went to the beach today, wearing a rather skimpy bikini (skimpy if you ask me, but it was nice and new too). I don’t go to the beach wearing a bikini very often, for several reasons – few of which have to do with my body image, most of which have to do with the weather in Norway (short summers, frequently rainy). I think the only body image ‘problem’ I have is that I am always the palest person at the beach (even in Norway), and if I’m abroad among people who tan easily, I don’t like to stand out as the ghost of the beach. Because people stare if you’re my kind of pale. They do. And I really don’t like being stared at, even if I do look rather fit for my age.

Onwards with the story: coming back from the beach, I opened my laptop and noticed there were some FB updates waiting for me. Inexperienced in this, I didn’t realize that the post I initially thought was pretty hilarious, and probably posted by one of my humorous friends, was in fact an ad for losing weight. The post contained various pictures of headless women in bikinis. There were two shots of each woman, where one shot was with them looking quite normal and one where they were very skinny (mostly scraped) and could show off at the beach, apparently. Ehhhh. Since when did Facebook know I went to the beach? In a bikini? The ad felt eerily tailored, as if Zuckerberg and company knew exactly where I was and what I was doing today. Creepy. Except they got it wrong: I’m not on the lookout for a slimming experiment called KombiKuren. Or any such thing.

Now I’m grumpy and think I need to write a dark and bleak novel about being watched all the time. The real 1984 or something.

Wasn’t there something about FB controlling people’s moods earlier this summer??? That might backfire, I say.



3 thoughts on “Now I Know Why I Hesitated to Join FB

  1. Carolyn

    I understand why authors feel like they have to join FB, and I’m sure some authors will tell you it’s made a huge difference for them, but I’m glad I have nothing compelling me to. I’ve never wanted to join because it has always seemed too intrusive. I like to decide who and when people know things about me, and all the things I’ve heard throughout the years I haven’t been on there make me glad I haven’t, including your story. That is so creepy. I know I miss out on all kind of conversations and updates from friends and family, but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make because I just detest the idea that someone is gathering data and manipulating us by poking around in our non-fb activities, and we let them, for free!


  2. Social media and the internet are creepy all together. I participate in various social media experiences and do a lot of shopping on line, as does my husband. FB, Amazon and Google all know that we are connected and makes sure we each see info the other might be interested. That’s just weird.


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