Suggested For You

Suggested For You

By Tom Nussbaum

old man celular


Dear Facebook,

Your posts on my Facebook page were, at first, just a few and I thought nothing of it. They seemed harmless. They, however, have become more frequent, now bordering on constant, and could cause an angrier, more volatile individual than myself to become irritated and a bit unhinged. Granted, you always introduced them with “Suggested for you” and I thank you for thinking of me and suggesting websites in which I might have an interest. I am certain you offer these unsolicited suggestions because you care for me as an individual and have my best interests in mind, not for any hidden motives, like profit or data gathering.

What I don’t understand is who makes the suggestions? Do they come from Facebook itself, based on browsing histories or past posts?

Or do they come from my 7,536 Facebook Friends? You know, I have 7,536 now. Well, of course, you know that. You’re Facebook. Anyway, I share close relationships with each of them and I share a lot of personal information with them. So, a suggestion from any of them should be based on their thorough knowledge of my tastes.

If they do come from FB friends, that might explain why I received a “Suggested for you” for the IHOP website after a childhood neighbor’s cousin, whose name is Darlene or Marleen, possibly Carleen, posted a lovely picture of a Chicken Fried Steak meal there. I, however, am not allowed in any IHOP since the alleged public exposure incident at one of their popular-with-teenagers locations. Come to think of it, that Chicken Fried Steak post was a long time ago; I haven’t heard from Charlene in forever.

If the source is FB itself, did my asking Google last year “Who is the musician The Weeknd and why does he spell his name wrong?” trigger the suggestion that I might be interested in “Weekend Getaways in the Oklahoma Panhandle?” Let me say Oklahoma has no allure for me; I have no interest in seeing Oklahoma. Well, maybe the musical.

That leads me to ask, is it possible FB might misinterpret some links and connections? For example, you recently posted a “Suggested for you” about the CBS drama NCIS. Thank you for your thoughtfulness. But why did you do that? I once Googled the National Coalition of Incarcerated Schizophrenics. But I have no interest in the television program NCIS; I’ve never watched it. In fact, I don’t watch CBS. I hate it. The entire network. I’ve hated it ever since they let that hot Mary Tyler Moore go.

You may be wondering how I amassed 7,536 Facebook Friends. After all, I am not a movie star, professional athlete, or social media influenza, whatever they are. Well, some of my FB Friends are people with whom I attended elementary school but lost contact with when my family moved across the country so Dad could undergo mental health treatments.

Other Facebook Friends are connected to those elementary school buddies of mine, perhaps as cousins, in-laws, neighbors, co-workers, and bowling league teammates. A large number of my FB Friends are people I met during my two most recent prison stays. I met many others in therapy. But, by far, the largest number of my FB Friends are people with whom I have had sexual relations. You’d be surprised how many clergymen and politicians utilize Facebook.

In the event the suggestions come from well-meaning FB friends, they all know my dietary preferences because we all, like I said, are very close. So, why would one tell FB that I was interested in “Blue Foods of Borneo?” For the record, I don’t like blue. In fact, I hate the color. Sometimes, I want to smack upside the head people wearing blue shirts, dresses, or jockstraps. I just hate blue, all shades. Especially if they are in foods. Correction. Blueberries are OK, I guess. If you dye them red.

One of the first “Suggested for you” posts I received was for a pro hockey team, the Anaheim Ducks. Why would FB think I was interested—Is it because I Googled “eider-down-filled comforters” in 2012?

While you are researching the sources of my “Suggested for you” posts, Facebook, could you—Hey, I’m curious. Mr. Zuckerberg, are you actually reading this? If so, may I take the opportunity to tell you how hot I think your wife is?—could you find out why my 7,536 friends don’t respond to my “likes,” comments, or Messenger messages? I thought I disabled the “Unfollow” option correctly.

I received a suggestion from you a while back for a recipe-sharing website. The picture of the Spam-Coco-Puffs-Soy Sauce Casserole looked lovely. However, I don’t cook. I don’t need recipes. So, why did you suggest that? Because I once Googled “popular cereals” when doing a crossword puzzle?

You suggested a cat-themed website. I started sneezing immediately. Dander allergies. So, you see, I am not a cat-person. That’s partially due to the allergies, but more because I simply hate cats. Actually, I hate all animals. All of them. So don’t suggest any more animal sites, please. Oh. I take that back. I do like skunks. Because my high school’s mascot was a skunk. But I hate everyone I went to school with.

So, dear Facebook, I await your response. Meanwhile I shall return to my futile scrolling through Facebook. And being puzzled and angered by your “Suggested for you” posts. And wondering why I never see any posts from my 7,536 Facebook Friends. You, it seems, dear Facebook, are the only one who communicates with me nowadays. So, maybe I shouldn’t be complaining and should appreciate the posts more.


Your Facebook Friend, Jerem…

Oh, I’m not gonna tell you my name. You already know. You’re Facebook.


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