These Targeted Ads Don’t Know Me At All

@Algorithm, you don’t know me at all! Why would I need a collection of monogrammed paring knives when I just ordered a mint-colored set thirty minutes ago?! Normally, I wouldn’t waste money on another, but my wise former-butcher-now-convicted-serial-killer cousin says you can never have too many knives—add to cart.


But seriously, algorithm, you just recommended me a 5-pound bag of monogrammed peanuts. Who needs 5 pounds of a personalized food they’re allergic to?! That’s insane, the 2-pound bag will suffice—add to cart.


And this: a 2024 Acura Integra when my 2023 Acura Integra just got out of the shop! I really shouldn’t buy a gray sports car (gray is so bleh), but if the algorithm put all this work into recommending it just for me, the least I could do is start a 24-month high-interest lease with $300 down and 48% APR. I should probably sell my 2023. No, that’d be such a hassle; I’ll just throw it away.


Okay, buying the car then logging off to finish binging that legal drama—omg stickers with Suits quotes! Lame, they’re all Harvey Spector. But my favorite character is Donna’s can opener! See, it doesn’t know me at—oooooh, can openers, kind of pricey, but I need one, okay buy—but honestly, with all that data, how can its recommendations still be this bad—should I take the LSAT? Being a lawyer sounds awful, but the test could be fun. I wouldn’t know how to study for—nice, prep books! Okay, buy. I should probably get other lawyer stuff too: a briefcase, cravat, and some powdered wigs (they’ll make a comeback).


Wow, peanuts are good! Maybe I’m not allergic? Algorithm, have you known this whole time?! And if so, why are you now recommending me all these Epi-Pens with 15-minute shipping? Must be a mistake, not worrying about it.


Ugh, the packaging for these knives is so hard to open. Thank God there’s a flash sale on cleavers, which’ll be perfect for opening up this pack—buying 3!


Huh, my throat feels tingly. Maybe I should get those Epi-Pens. Oof, the 15-minute shipping costs an extra $4. You know what, the Epi-Pens can wait 3 to 5 business days.


Ugh, the packaging for this car is so hard to open. Gotta get more knives—ooh, banner ads for t-shirts proclaiming my name, political affiliation, and that I’m a fun uncle whose apartment complex has a hot tub. Is the overnight shipping it worth it? Shit, have to decide in the next 8 milliseconds—okay, buying a 12-pack! Who cares if they’re the wrong size.


Alright, algorithm, my throat’s closing up, so please send those Epi-Pens! I don’t care if the box is gray (well I do care, but I’ll buy gray ones anyway). Immediate shipping, adding to cart—woah, lasers—no, stay focused. Laser focused—no, just regular focused! Okay buy. Should be here any second.


Fuck, I can’t open this box! Algorithm, what do I do?! Buy a monogrammed coffin? Unconventional way to open a box of Epi-Pens…but okay I trust you. You’ve clearly put a lot of thought into this coffin—it has my initials.