The Revealing Ads

A couple of weeks ago, a friend visited from Taiwan and we got together for a meal. Most of the group are currently or used to be housemates at a share house in Tokyo. That day, one of the Taiwanese girls did not attend the gathering because she had other friends also visiting from Taiwan and had to show them around. The absent girl, B, is about my age and had been looking for a life partner for a while. Recently, there seems to be a guy whom she’s dating and the other girls were saying how the relationship is a little suspicious. Don’t worry, it’s not bitching because this group of girls are some of the best people I’ve met. They genuinely care for one another like family.

The conversation then naturally moved to matchmaking events and matchmaking agencies. One of them suggested that matchmaking events are usually flooded with weird guys because since it’s just participation fees of about 5,000 yen, anyone can just turn up. But signing up for matchmaking agencies cost a decent amount of money and involve counselling by marriage counselors at the agencies, so the people registered are usually screened and serious about getting married, which may be a better choice for B, if she is serious about finding a partner. Another friend said it costs too much (usually around 300,000 yen) to make it easy for anyone to join. But that’s the point, isn’t it?

One particular company introduced to me by a friend called Zwei, which means “two” in German, is less expensive than most other agencies, and I suggested them to pass the info to B if she is interested. They asked me how much it was and I couldn’t remember, so I went online to search for the details.

Some many days later, I had a business meeting with a major potential client and brought my notebook along to do some demonstrations and show some examples. During presentation, I accessed the client’s company website and while we were discussing about placements of some objects on their website, the client pointed at an ad that was displayed in a corner of their website and asked about the placement. As I responded to his question, I realized it was displaying Zwei’s ad. In my mind, I was certain he knew it was targeted at me and wondered what he was thinking seeing a matchmaking agency’s ad on my computer and almost burst out laughing imagining what must have gone on in his mind.

Targeted ads are good in that they show me what I may be interested in instead of things like fishing baits, which was an actual ad displayed to me in Facebook’s in-app browser in its early days of inception. But at the same time, they only provide half the story to others who see the ads displayed on my computer and allow them to form all kinds of stories about me in their heads that I may never find out. That doesn’t sound too appealing. Then again, maybe people would introduce girls to me after seeing it.

We’ll see.


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