Do Not Tell Me What to Like

Wed 10.12.11 | 9 comments

In the last few weeks, Facebook has rolled out a redesign, prominently displaying the “Top Stories” on the front page timeline. The Top Stories are posts from friends and family that Facebook determines are important to you, through some sort of Satanic algorithm privy only to Facebook higher-ups. Granted, these have existed for some time, but now it’s 90% of what you see when you log in. Yes, a web page is now telling you what you think is important.

Facebook is not alone. Gmail has rolled out a few new features, one of which is the “Important button.” The Important Button let’s you designate which emails are important. Sure, it’s similar to the “Starred” button, except the Important Button takes it a step further; now Gmail will help you decide what emails are important by highlighting them as such for you. Yes, your email inbox is now telling you what you think you should find important.

Gmail, this is not helpful for me. If I think an email is important, I have a system of highlighting it. I will use the Star button. I will set up a filter which will put a big, red label on the email, making me aware of it. I will read the subject line and tattoo it on my scrotum, so that with ever step I take, the pain will remind me of the email that I need to review. I do not need help from a website to determine what emails are important. Instead, I need to spend precious seconds checking off emails and removing these automated notices of importance. Seconds I could spend masturbating or thinking about masturbating. Yes, I know I can turn it off in the options, but it doesn’t shut off on the mobile inbox.

This brings me to a further point; every website ever, stop recommending things for me.

Netflix, I appreciate your gusto. Thank you for recommending what shows other people have enjoyed. In some cases, you have helped me find something new and wonderful that I normally would not have given any thought! In the other 98% of the cases, you recommend crap. Obviously, if I watch Rapefighter the Barbarian Vol 1, I am going to watch Vol 2. That’s just obvious. However! Just because I like one NBC comedy doesn’t mean that I like The Office or The Office: UK or Best of The Office or The Office Christmas Special. You have a button that I can push that tells you I am “not interested,” but I might as well stick my pointer finger up my nose for all the good that does. It never works.

Netflix also needs to utilize an “ignore this forever” button. Sometimes my girlfriend picks the show. Sometimes I am watching a terrible cartoon from the 90s for the sake of nostalgia. Sometimes I am drunk and clicking things at random. Sometimes I am hunting for tits. Then the next time I log into Netflix, I am stuck with a terrible mix of suggestions based on shows that I clicked in a moment of weakness. Stop that.

Facebook, back to you, let’s chat. I don’t need to be friends the smelly kid who picked his asshole during math class in 3rd grade just because 5 of my older friends still communicate with the guy. You don’t need to show me my ex-girlfriend’s college room mate over and over on the Facebook side bar. I’m not friends with her for a reason. Worse yet, please continue to hit me when I am down. I had 245 friends on Thursday. Now it’s Monday and I have 244 friends. Who left me? Who deemed me so horrible that they couldn’t stand to see me post statues about my genitals and general disdain for everything? This would haunt me, but I have the attention span of a child, so I forget immediately. Until I see someone under my suggested friends that I was friends with not a week prior. Facebook, all you have done is given my rage a face and a name. You are an accessory to murder! Or will be once the chloroform and wire from eBay arrives.

That reminds me! eBay, please stop recommending that I buy a new television or cell phone every week. Thank you. Amazon, please stop suggesting that I buy a used riding crop because someone who bought Batman & Robin Must Die is also a pervert. Thanks.

I know what you are saying right now: “HP, no one is making you follow those recommendations. You don’t need to pay attention to them and in some cases you can even disable them!” Sounds to me like you are recommending I do something? Well, bite me. Does anyone else find all these recommendations annoying?

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    9 Comments

    • Melanie done said:

      I also hate recommendations. Luckily, every person in France is recommended to be my friend on Facebook because we have one mutal friend… who is actually an acquaintance. Why would facebook think I want to be friends with people in France when the person I’m actually friends with is living in Dallas? Ok. I’m done. You may continue your recommendation hatred.

    • Angela done said:

      I’m going to recommend this post to other people!

      But honestly, no, it’s silly. Netflix recommendations barely make sense, since Pat and I watch completely different things. I can’t imagine what it would look like if an entire family was using the same account.

      Amazon also keeps recommending things I don’t want, or stuff I read a month ago. There’s no pattern.

    • Evan done said:

      I don’t hate recommendations nearly as much as I hate how I’m pressured to “share” everything I do online. I just want to do stuff on my own and not broadcast to the whole world that I saw this movie or listened to that artist. This was not the sharing my mother taught me to do.

      • HP done said:

        I totally agree with you here, but I think “sharing” is pretty much a whole post in and of itself.

    • Chris done said:

      Chris,

      Yes and yes! I click the “like” button on this post. The internet is out of its mind. And this short talk really brings it all home:

      http://blog.ted.com/2011/05/02/beware-online-filter-bubbles-eli-pariser-on-ted-com/

      In all seriousness, something needs to be done about it…

    • Sarah done said:

      Yes, I hate the recommendations too… especially Facebook, it’s super-annoying.
      I also hate that when I look something really random up on Amazon, it will suddenly decide that everything I look at must be related to that ONE thing I clicked on. Once I was looking up purses and there was a ridiculous one that looked like a chicken! I clicked on it to read about it and see why someone would get that purse and then for weeks after all my recommended products had do to with chicken purses. :-/

    • Sarah done said:

      http://www.amazon.com/Rubber-Chicken-Handbag-Pocketbook-Henbag/dp/B001G8N95I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1318503620&sr=8-1
      Click on the chicken purse – now your Amazon recommendations will be sabotaged for the foreseeable future 😉 lol

      • HP done said:

        I am not clicking anything about purses, I get enough horrible recommendations as it is. I already see a 15lb bag of Skittles, a 1lb bag of powdered cheddar cheese, a lot of comic books, and a coffee mug shaped like a toilet when I log into Amazon.

        • Sarah done said:

          Hahaha, those sound like good HP-targeted recommendations to me!

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