Once Upon a Time in the Near Future

Me, trying to enter an appointment in my smart phone’s calendar:  Invalid information? WTF?

Facebook Notification:  Beep. [actually, more of a swoosh]

robotMe:  What?

Facebook Notification:  You have a conflict at that time. 

Me:  I do? 

Facebook Notification:  Yes. You’re going to be in New York at a concert.  Lil Wayne. Click here to choose a payment option for your tickets.

Me:  No I’m not.

Facebook Notification:  Yes you are.  Look at your calendar. Click here to choose a payment option for your tickets.

Me: Huh? I didn’t set that up.

Facebook Notification:  No.  I did it for you.  Click here to choose a payment option for your tickets.

Me:  What do you mean you did it for me?

Facebook Notification:  A service.  Cool, isn’t it?  You like Lil Wayne. He was doing a show within 50 miles of [your current location — click here to choose a different location].  And you were free at that time.

Me:  How did you know I was free at that time?

Facebook Notification:  Calendar.  In your smart phone. Click here to choose a payment op…

Me:  No, I don’t like Lil Wayne anyway.

Facebook Notification:  Sure you do.  You Like Barack Obama.

Me:  So what if I like Barack Obama?

Facebook Notification:  People who Like Barack Obama overwhelmingly Like Lil Wayne. *

Me:  But…

Facebook Notification:  Besides, one of your Friends and 27 people who should be Friends of yours Like Lil Wayne.

Me:  But I never bought any tickets.

Facebook Notification:  You never paid for your tickets.  I bought them for you.  Click here to choose a payment option for your tickets. You can choose your Alumni MasterCard ending in *3376 or your Chase Visa ending in *3222.  Or Paypal.

Me:  How the hell do you have my credit card numbers?

Facebook Notification:  A previous purchase from one of our Prime Partners, plus statistical inferences, plus public information sources.

Me:  What public information sources?

Facebook Notification:  That information is a trade secret.

* Technical Note: Facebook’s algorithm REALLY DID tell me that people who
like Barack Obama like Lil Wayne. I’m not creative enough to make something like that up.

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