Two friends meet at a favorite coffee shop to discuss current events.
Friend One: Well, I finally did it.
Friend Two: Did what? Got a tattoo, re-lost your virginity, tried out for an Olympic sport?
Friend One: Don’t be so snarky. The only body art I ever got was a hickey, followed closely by the V thing, and there isn’t an official naked Olympic sporting event, although we both would have earned medals many times over.
Friend Two: Ah yes, I vaguely remember those “Good Old Days”. *Sigh* So what did you really do?
FO: I finally started a Facebook page.
FT: Congrats! It’s about time. How’s it going?
FO: Well, my computer and social networking skills aren’t quite cutting edge, so you are my only friend request so far.
FT: Let’s take a look. (Opens tablet, and brings up FB site) OK I just accepted your “friend” request. So let’s switch to your page. *tap, tap, tap*
FO: See- there’s nothing there; I don’t even have a photo, just a gray head silhouette on a blue square.
FT: But you do have advertisers trying to get your attention. That’s immediate and never ending. FB has invasive, targeting software that tracks anything you “like” or website you click on and within 30 seconds they direct ads related to those topics melded with any profile info you are required to enter to set up a personal page.
FO: Well, I don’t need a Miracle Ear or Hover Round Wheelchair. Do they honestly think any woman over 50 is debilitated and deaf?
FT: Wait until you start getting the male enhancement and incontinence ones, even though you are neither male nor incontinent. Some of those are quite amusing, and forwarding them to specific people with a personal message is quite a satisfying creative outlet.
FO: Speaking of male, what’s this dating site ad doing here? I didn’t click on any of those sites. How can 26 men in my town be interested in meeting me? I own a 10,000 acre ranch. There aren’t 26 men in a 26 mile radius of my home.
FT: Maybe they’re hiding out in the abandoned missile silo or the mountain caves.
FO: Seriously, the silo is being converted into condos and the caves are home to mountain lions. See- those men have no profile photos either. They must all want to remain anonymous to avoid something. That must be what we have in common; I want to avoid them.
FT: The only photo they probably have is a mug shot, or one they copied and pasted from a kinky online website.
FO: Yup- the no selfie group is probably a secret chat room for scammers who want to remain anonymous. Maybe people go there to exchange scam secrets and techniques. They develop invasive FB ads together. Then they can target unwitting victims who are lonely and incontinent.
FT: So you need a profile pic. With just a few taps I’ll photo shop up one that makes you look like a cross between Betty Crocker, Ivanka Trump, and sex on a plate. *Tap, tap, tap* See? Now you look like a smart, sexy, business mogul, and the wooden spoon in your hand hints at just a little wicked side.
FO: Nobody looks like that! *Pause* Although it does kind of resemble me. OK let’s go with it and see what happens.
FT: I just set up a private vetting process that’s government worthy. Plus the buy in fee is seven figures. I’ll just add a firewalled email address with messaging inbox…
FO: (15 seconds later) *Ding ding ding ding ding ding ding…* What have you done? Now 468 men are interested in meeting me. Five of them are oil sheiks, three are European princes, and one owns an archipelago in the Pacific. And that’s just in the first 15 messages…
FT: So now the real fun begins. You know how we were looking for a project? We do have several friends…
FO: Maybe we should build offices.
FT: I’m on it already.