Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pandora, You Don't Know Me

I love to listen to Pandora internet radio.  I can choose the style of music I'm in the mood for...or, best of all, I can mix it up and get the variety I love in music.  (What other station will play Abba, Plumb and Billie Holiday back to back?)

However, I don't like the way it tries to figure me out.  It started a year or so ago, when a certain song would begin and it would tell me "so-in-so likes this artist."  What?  How does it know who my friends are and what they like? I don't remember ever giving it access to Facebook or anything.  I believe, when I signed in a few years ago to begin listening, that all I did was give it my email address; and yet Pandora - you never email me.  You're like a stalker, trying to silently figure out all you can about me.

Now that it thinks it has my friends figured out - it's getting pushy.  It thinks it now knows my gender and age...because it keeps putting this ad in my sidebar, showing pictures of gray-haired men, entitled "Meet 50+ men in your area."  What???!

Here's my reaction to this - bulleted, of course, to make my points clear and concise, since I'm now old and know the importance of such things:
  • My first thought was, "Why would I want to meet 50 or more men???"
  • Then I saw all the gray hair...and realized Pandora was really trying to say 50 YEAR OLD men (or older.)  
  • Next - the photos.  Haha...those are NOT men in my area, no matter what Pandora may try to tell me.  Guys that age in my part of the world usually have pot bellies, farmer's tans on their head from wearing hats all their life...and they do not look the least bit air-brushed.
  • The insinuation - that I would be looking for an old man - is wrong in so many ways...
  1. I'm a middle-aged woman who, like every other woman my age, would love to feel and look younger. You dare to suggest I need an OLD man?
  2. I'm so happily married, it's crazy.  Why would I even consider offending my un-bald, un-gray, trim and fit 40-something-year-old guy for a fake, photo-shopped, random old man?  
  3. Some other thoughts that shouldn't be put in print.
  • Last but not least, my husband says Pandora also shows him ads, but of course they're for women in the area. 
  • The pictures of the women?  They're YOUNG!  WHAT'S UP WITH THAT???!   Because he's a guy - he needs hot, young things...and since I'm a woman, I need old, gray-haired "distinguished" guys?  Now if that doesn't offend me, I don't know what would.
However - I love music too much to quit listening.  Thus, I'll just have to tolerate your pushy insinuations.

Just remember, are not smart enough to ever, truly, figure me out.  But don't take it personally - even my awesome husband struggles with that one.

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