Facebook wants me to exercise in the most expensive and idiotic ways | Stay Weird, Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Facebook wants me to exercise in the most expensive and idiotic ways

Facebook is awful, and we all know it, but there’s always an excuse to go there: getting to the end of Twitter, creeping on an acquaintance’s photos, or just plain boredom. Recently, my feed has been pushing countless ads for exercise equipment. While I applaud their accurate determination that I practice a sedentary lifestyle, I can’t tolerate the stupidity of the athletic devices they’re showing me.  

My current arch-nemesis from Big Exercise is something called MIRROR. The ad for MIRROR follows the current standards and practices of today’s exercise commercials: a fit, young person wearing their finest athleisure in their multi-million dollar mid-century modern house works up a sweat in a room no human would ever workout in, like their kitchen or dining room, and they’re smiling the entire time like some kind of psychopath fueled by pain and boredom. If you’ve seen a Peloton Bike ad, you know what I’m talking about.

But while an exercise bike equipped with live classes makes sense to me, MIRROR is just a 40-inch television turned 90 degrees counterclockwise. You hang it on your wall just like your TV. Only its profile is vertical like the monitor of a cool software engineer. Oh, and when you are not using it, it is a regular mirror. A mirror that shows you the reflection of the dolt who spent $1,495 on a piece of glass. That price does not include the $40 per month you will need to spend to access the same workouts you can get from a Shaun T DVD at your local library. 

I thought commenting that it was “just a vertical TV” on the Facebook ad would make it go away. Instead, those sick SOBs in Silicon Valley just ratcheted up the frequency. If they were going to be stubborn about it, then I would be too. I continued to submit a slight variation on the same post over and over on the ad each time it appeared. My comments got about 15 likes, which exceeds my expectations for trolling an account that is probably 100 percent automated. And if putting up with insufferable ads and being stupid enough to respond to them garners me critical acclaim in the form of likes from people I don’t know, then it was all worth it.         

The ads have ceased. I don’t know whether I blocked MIRROR in a rage blackout or if as the leader of the resistance, I broke the spirit of both Facebook and MIRROR. If I were a betting man, I’d choose the latter.

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