"By this curious turn of disposition I have gained the reputation of deliberate heartlessness." -Emily Bronte
Surprise! Googling classic English literature has not been the only thing I've done this week. Recently, I had the unpleasant job of changing my relationship status on Facebook from 'In a relationship' to 'Single'. Not something I've had to do for over four years. Well, I wasn't on Facebook then, but you get the idea.
But as should have come as little surprise, advertisers are heartless, lecherous bar stewards, primed to profit from my fragile first few weeks. In fact, within seconds my profile page was pummelled with singles ads, just rubbing it in that I'd had to change my status.
'Single? In London?', 'Get a Hot Girlfriend!'
'Thousands of single girls work near you'
'Come and meet sexy singles in your area'
I'm realistic about keyword-based targeted advertising. It's effective, it's direct and it can be highly lucrative. But Jesus friggin' Chrysler, could you at least give me a couple of weeks to start mending, Facebook?
Marking the ads as inappropriate or offensive was a bitter waste of my precious finger energy, and short of changing my status to 'In a relationship with a giant gay man', I can only think to do one other thing: whinge about it on CNET.
If you've ever felt miffed at Facebook's targeted advertising, by all means leave a note below. You'll have to go some to beat our chief sub-editor Nick Hide, who's regularly greeted on the FB by ads mocking him for being '27 and still single?'