Columns 13.9.2017 05:09 pm

Facebook thinks it knows me

Thamsanqa Mkwanazi.

Thamsanqa Mkwanazi.

I am starting to think that these social media apps have insight into information that we are not aware of.

They say you must never judge a book by its cover. But I am also not sure if the very same “they” are the ones who say that you can judge a person by the shoes they wear.

Clearly, there is way too much judging going on, and I am sure you have fallen victim to this a few times as well, just like I did recently.

What makes my judgment even more unbearable is that it was not delivered by a human, but rather by an algorithm. You see, whenever I have a few minutes to spare, I take semi-decent photos and upload them to Instagram for all three of my followers to hopefully appreciate, and that is when I started noticing a concerning trends.

There is a feature on almost all social media sites that suggests accounts that you should follow or be friends with, and the names that came up had me doubting myself. For instance, I am a 34-year-old black male from a township, and some algorithm suggested that I follow Miley Cyrus on Twitter. Miley Cyrus?!?

I am starting to think that these social media apps have access to information that we are not aware of. Not even in my worst nightmare would I be in the least interested in that wrecking ball of a celebrity. But maybe Twitter somehow knows that I did a stint in a private school, and they are trying to rekindle the days when I used to jam to the likes of Blink 182, Roxette and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Then Facebook also took me by surprise when it suggested that I should consider being friends with the official Inkatha Freedom Party page, butI just simply cannot be part of the Mangosuthu club, as I do not have a single dainty hair accessory, like the party’s leader.

Please forgive me for labouring on the point of being judged, but I am starting to think that social media has also been captured, and I am considering approaching any court that will hear my case. I mean, really, Miley Cyrus? I would have made far less noise had I been matched up with, let’s say a Patricia Lewis.

Listening to those random suggestions is definitely one way to kill one’s street cred!

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