Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

The Imaginary Child

A few months after Klara was born, Amazon Vine’s recommendation algorithm must have decided that I was ready to get pregnant again (I wasn’t and am still not, unfortunately.) It started offering me ovulation trackers and pregnancy tests. A bit later, it must have decided that its ovulation kits worked and started offering me maternity wear and prenatal vitamins.

Nine months later, I started getting offers for breastfeeding kits and baby clothes. And now that the imaginary child should be around 3 months of age, I’m getting offers for infant toys and playards. The imaginary child is a boy, which is the level of specificity that creeps me out even more.

I wonder when the algorithm will start factoring in my age and will realize that pushing out one kid after another at my age is not what normally happens, much as I’d have liked to think it does. How many imaginary kids will Amazon Vine endow me with? Because I have a feeling I will start getting a new round of ovulation trackers from them very soon.

Is it weird to feel guilt-tripped by Amazon’s algorithm? 


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7 thoughts on “The Imaginary Child

  1. Shakti on said:

    I don’t know? How much information does Amazon have about you? They could be basing it on your age, or past purchases or wishlists (for not just yourself, but say your niece and nephew).

    I have shown no signs of having a kid, but if I surf Facebook without an adblocker I get ads for ovulation kits.

    At least they’re wrong unlike Target’s algorithm.


  2. What I find funny is that after going on a trip my browser is full of ads for that place (often for the hotel I was just in….).

    I find it a little comforting that they’re so…. clueless…


    • And I love it when I buy something and then get ads for that same object for months. Like it’s normal for people to buy dozens of porch benches or stuff like that.


  3. Is it weird to feel guilt-tripped by Amazon’s algorithm?



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