Facebook: Creating Stalkers Since 2003

When it comes to Facebook, you would be lying if you said you never found yourself looking at the pictures your winter vacation hookup (from 2001) just posted… or at the girl that annoyingly keeps writing on your boyfriend’s wall (and at all of her friends). I know, I know, you just randomly, somehow, stumbled upon them; you really, truly, only logged on to check your messages…3 hours ago. And now you are searching for that cute guy you met last night whose last name you don’t know (why did his name have to be Aaron?!).
Let’s face it; we’ve all stooped a little bit lower than we like to admit (logging on to a friend’s account to look at someone not in your network). Posted something for the sake of ONE person seeing it (an ex boyfriend perhaps? This picture totally screams “I am SOO over you”), or for the whole Facebook world to see (Look! I met Vince Vaughn! We sat at his table! This totally validates that I am cool. Take that all you who shoved me in a locker in high school!).
Every now and again, we all do a bit of random stalking or, as I chose to call it, investigative journalism. (The dictionary of my life says an email to my friends reporting my findings completely counts as journalism… “He’s single! Scooore!”) But with all this quasi-stalking that we do, we never really think that we are that important or fascinating enough that total randoms would waste their time looking at our photos from Halloween 2006.
That is, until it happens to you… and you find out.
And then, Facebook becomes really creepy.
After being tracked down (AND friend requested) by the ex-girlfriend of my current boy-toy (through a mutual friend that we share) I felt a range of emotions. First, I was in shock that she even found me and added me as a friend (the boy is not even on Fbook- how would she even know?). Then after I put it all together, I was embarrassed for her… that she still cares years later to friend request me just to look at my pictures and/or relationship status to garner more info on her ex’s life (all the while judging me). It’s all so pathetic- and sad- and desperate-and psycho- and pathetic (I mean, there are other ways to stalk me then to friend request me! Do you know no one in my network?! Crazy lady, this is just poor investigating!).
But mostly I was a little (lot) creeped out. Why is someone spending her time looking at my pictures, at people she doesn’t know, passing some sort of judgment about who I am and if I am cuter/smarter/funnier than she is? And in turn, why am I looking at hers and doing the same thing? Sure, I post pictures of my college reunion or my birthday, I write on people’s walls, I have a semi-filled out profile- and while I am soo not a fan of all the new applications, I guess I’m your typical Facebook user.
So after evaluating all these things that I actively do, I realized, I have no right to be creeped out.
The intention of this article at first was to call this girl to the carpet for her crazy-ness. And while I still think she crossed a line (and is one craaaazy cat), I realized that by posting ANYTHING on Facebook- you are sending an open invitation saying “Hey future boss/ex best friend/new boy I just met/or in my case, chick I don’t know who dated the guy I’m dating years ago… look at me and my life!” Sure, we all say we are only posting these pics for our friends to see- but if that’s the case, why not load them on Ofoto and send them the link? Or email them out? It’s plain and simple: we broadcast our lives on Facebook because a part of us wants it to be broadcasted…. to certain people.
Lesson to be learned: people are crazy. People with nothing but time on their hands are even crazier. Ex girlfriends/boyfriends are almost always crazy. It took one of these crazies to stalk me down to my knowledge for me to think about all the others who have done it in a smarter/sneakier way. Does this mean I’m going to quit Facebook? Hellllll no. I need something to do when I am bored at work. Not to mention my life isn’t that cool that it needs to be kept on the uber-private.
BUT it did teach me that someone is always watching/looking/stalking me down and sending out a piece of “investigative journalism” of their very own.

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