Data-raped By the Internet

The two biggest threats to my sanity are Internet advertisements and my mother. Have you ever had one of those creepy days where you think the Internet knows EVERYTHING about you and then sends you advertisements to exploit every last insecurity? And if not, then your mother did something similar?

I think it's no surprise that Internet service providers do something called remarketing that sends you customized advertisements based on anything you've already searched online. So if you were ever having a weak moment and wanted to be more beautiful, less fat, more educated or stalked the girl you got dumped for and then searched for any related content, you can suddenly get inundated with ads exploiting your darkest hour and your day could end feeling like you just got gang-raped by the cyber gods, like Mark Zuckerberg just tapped that ass and left a 'Z' imprinted on it, like Zorro.


On glorious mornings before the Internet tries to assault me, I stand naked in the mirror after I finish my Flashdance routine and try to stroke the reflection of my sweaty face while reciting my daily affirmations: "I'm Blonde, I'm Fertile, I'm Literate, and Doggone It, People Love Me!" I try erasing any new wrinkles by pulling at them while making horror movie faces, then try to convince myself that my $500 Crème de la 'Merde' beauty regimen is actually working. I put on my new Victoria's Secret 'Barbie would cut you for these' bra and marvel at how my boobs and my love handles don't look like Siamese twins anymore. Fascinating. I also see that I don't need another bikini wax from that Russian sadist at the Don't Get Your Twat in a Knot spa for at least another two weeks. Sweet. I skip out the door to work feeling invincible, like a Kardashian.

Then I get to work and log onto my computer but before I can begin tackling the 100+ emails piling up in my Inbox, an Esquire billboard ad on my Yahoo homepage says, "Hey girl, you know who makes you look like Charlize Theron in Monster today?" Who dammit? They float a photo across my screen of Scarlett Johansson wearing a smaller version of a Kleenex that says, "Scarlett wins Sexiest Woman Alive...for the second time!" Twice? Wow. Insecurities awaken. I couldn't even win BINGO twice if I lived in a nursing home. Pants feel a little tighter all of a sudden. Maybe I shouldn't have had those churros dipped in chocolate for dessert last night. The shame starts to creep in. I start making something with paperclips at my desk that resembles a noose.

I try to refocus on the email I was typing to a client, but Google, the 800 lb. gorilla of search engines, intercepts that idea with another pop up ad that says, "Hey there! Churros got you feeling down today?" What? How did you know that, Google? "Oh, let's not talk about HOW I know. I just want to tell you about this new app that will rip the churro right out of your hand. It's called FATASS." I start searching for the app on my phone. It costs $4.99. Fuck it. Scarlett Johansson probably has it. I press 'download' feeling like a schmuck. I speed through my work for the next hour knocking out 20 email responses and 50 Kegel exercises before lunch.

After lunch, I start reading an article that's on my to-do list but Yahoo tries to assassinate me instead with a pop up ad for Asian Brides and a Paint By Numbers set. They want to make sure I remember the time I fought over a boy with the perfect female specimen, the Ivy League Asian girl... and lost. You know the girl. The one who went to MIT, discovered the God particle, paints murals in Brazilian favelas in her spare time, breastfeeds soy milk and has a vagina holding magic secrets like a fortune cookie. Oh yeah, thanks Yahoo, I DO remember that. Delete. I decide to visit Facebook instead. Browsing through the fabulously curated lives of friends I never speak to always makes me feel better

After a few minutes of browsing through my Facebook newsfeed, the esteemed University of Phoenix builds a skyscraper next to the news article I'm reading. It says, "Hey blondie, don't like your job? Get your PhD online." The ad is a photo of an Elle Woods type sitting at home in her PJs, licking an ice cream cone on her chaise-longue and reading Proust. YES, Facebook! You GENIUS you! I'd totally rather be doing that! I check the balance on my former student loans. Nope. Not gonna happen. I strive for 50 more Kegel exercises. Doesn't anyone have a newspaper I can read instead?!!

Finally, the clock strikes 5 and the workday is over! I'm in my car on the way home when my phone whistles at me, "Yoo-hoo, over here!!" It's another Facebook notification. "YOUR MOTHER HAS JUST COMMENTED ON A PHOTO OF YOU." Damn you, Zuckerberg! My mother is the biggest terrorist on the Internet, my own personal Wikileaks, exposing secrets and humiliating me at every turn. She once endorsed me for 75 skills on LinkedIn, and one of them was "Pets." Then she typed out the entire lyrics to a Beach Boys song on my Facebook wall. Expecting to be mortified, I click on the notification. It's a photo of several girlfriends and I wearing our sexiest lululemon yoga pants. OK, how bad can this comment possibly be then? I scroll down, life turns to slow motion, I anticipate death... and there it is. "Sweetie! I can see your camel toe in this picture." Cardiac arrest. Let's repeat that. "Sweetie! I can see your CAMEL TOE in this picture." Are you kidding me, Mom? Dammit. That isn't a camel toe, that is my new magic fortune cookie vagina I have been working on for months. Delete.