Briones: Facebook algorithm and introspection

Publio J. Briones III
Publio J. Briones III

I am not familiar with how the Facebook algorithm works. In fact, I only found out recently that such a thing existed.

People who know me know that I don’t adapt well to new technology.

In the SunStar newsroom, I was the last one to purchase a cellphone back in 1998. And never mind the pager. I never had one.

I only hold on to my Facebook account to keep in touch with family and friends, many of whom live outside Cebu.

It’s nice to see how my fraternity brothers and friends from Pitt, as well as my friends from high school and elementary, have gotten on these past few decades.

Which brings me back to the algorithm.

I’ve noticed that a lot of sponsored contents on my wall are about chair yoga for seniors, or cures for male pattern hair loss and erectile dysfunction. I mean, what’s that got to do with me? And why did the administration of Facebook think I would be interested?

I don’t lead a sedentary lifestyle. Ask anyone. I walk. I jog. I’m up and about. Always. That’s why my column is called “On the Go.”

As for my hair, well, it’s not as thick as it used to be but I still have a full set on my head considering I’m already, ahem.

And on the sensitive topic of -- cough, cough -- I’m as virile as any men of my age claim to be.

However, I have to admit, I don’t mind the chair yoga bit. I find the tips really useful, which is why I’ve forwarded all the sponsored contents related to it to my Messenger so I could practice at home before or after work.

Come to think of it, I could do chair yoga in the office. Trust me, my colleagues have seen me do far weirder stuff over the years so a few contortions shouldn’t raise any eyebrows.

And people who knew me back in my heyday could still remember my voluminous -- yes, voluminous -- well-groomed ‘do.

I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I received many a praises for my lustrous -- yes, lustrous -- mane once upon a time.

But age does take its toll. More so on others, and they know who they are, but no one is immune. Not even I.

But because I never married, and I don’t have any children, and I basically hung out with people like me who never had to deal with raising a family and having to deal with the good and the bad that came with it -- in other words, adult responsibilities -- it almost seemed like I’ve been living in a time capsule.

That is, until I look at the mirror. Or put on socks before going to sleep. Or complain about the pain in my joints. Etc., etc., etc. Reality bites!

Growing old when you still feel young inside can be difficult. I feel the “disconnect” whenever I’m around young people. And they happen to be everywhere.

And they abound on Facebook.

Wait, am I missing anything?

Oh yes. Let me just put it out there. I know of men of the cloth who have a far more active sex life than I do. God bless their souls!


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