I was a little resistant to get on board with social media. I am now deeply immersed on multiple platforms; they devour hours of my day that, otherwise, would have been spent doing something productive. It’s where I get my news, do business research and reading, and follow things that interest me. I very rarely bare my soul or post excessive personal information, as so many do. I do share pictures of my family and the things we are doing, and I occasionally join a political discussion. I have been caught several times red-faced, yelling at my computer or phone.
Aside from posting too much information, there is a darker side to social media. Persons use it to keep tabs on ex-significant-others, and people they may like or dislike. This is called Facebook stalking, and can be done to friends and strangers alike. If you check someones timeline frequently to see what they have posted…you might be a Facebook stalker. This reminds me of Jeff Foxworthy’s “You might be a redneck…”, so let’s do it that way.
If you read every comment on every post a friend makes…you might be a Facebook stalker
If you click on strangers’ comments in a friend’s post to see their timeline…you might be a Facebook stalker.
If you then send a friend request to that stranger…you might be a Facebook stalker.
If you have ever created an account under your child’s name, or a fake name…you might be a Facebook stalker.
If the first thing you do, upon meeting someone new, is try to find them on Facebook…you might be a Facebook stalker.
If you leave comments on someone’s post to harass or bully…you might be a Facebook stalker.
If you have ever looked at a friend’s timeline just to see who all their friends are…you might be a Facebook stalker.
If you have ever downloaded a photo posted by a friend for your own use…you might be a Facebook stalker.
If you go out of your way to drive by a person’s house multiple times every day…you are actually a stalker and borderline personality disorder. Stop being so obsessed, you creepers! Sorry, I may have gotten a little carried away there,
I think there is a little bit of a disconnect from responsibility and decency online because we are personally removed from our audience. We do and say things with a keyboard that we might not if we were face to face with a real person. I include myself here because I have deleted questionable posts or edited comments that weren’t very nice. I always try to remember that my mother is one of my Facebook friends. I use the “what would mom think of this?” appropriateness meter, but I suspect she wouldn’t agree with my success rate.
Obviously there is good and bad that comes with being involved in any community. We get to share the things we are most passionate about with our friends…and we get to hear about what our friends are most passionate about. Keep in mind that everyone doesn’t share your situation, experiences, and environment…your perception. Don’t be irritated if someone posts incessantly about something that bores you to tears, because, rest assured, they think exactly the same about your most dear topics.
There is nothing more beneficial to the ego in this age than likes, shares, and comments. We, and I mean I (but we makes me feel less narcissistic), love to go to the little world icon and see how many likes our pet posts have gotten. Shares? Bonus! Comments? Don’t even get me started. It doesn’t matter if they are short, misspelled, or completely ignorant… someone read our shit! I’m not sure if it’s a need or compulsion, or simply another addiction we’ll find out is harmful at some point in the future.
Once again, I have drifted away from the original topic of this blog. We aren’t talking about online communities or narcissistic behavior. We are discussing the phenomenon of Facebook stalking. I’m actually an amateur, as anyone my age has to be. I actually had typing class in high school on an actual typewriter. It WAS an electric typewriter, so there is that. a, space, s, space, d, space…the teacher actually sat at her desk and dictated such exercises (and you hate your job). My typing still sucks, mostly because I watch television at the same time. I do believe I actually just violated the “actually” word usage rule for a paragraph.
So, my darling wife and editor-over-the-shoulder, just punched me in the kidney. She does not suffer, nor understand, the affliction of ADHD, or “Look! Something shiny!”. It helped to direct me back to Facebook stalking, though. Bottom line: we all do it (I say we because it makes feel like part of a community).
In closing, I would like to offer a few points of advice about online interaction. First: would your mother approve of your post, comment, or affiliations? Second: What everyone else is doing isn’t much more interesting than what you are doing. Third: like, comment, and share like it’s going out of style! It will make your friends’ day. Lastly: We all facebook stalk (we, I, whatever…bite me) just don’t be a troll.
Facebook is “actually” pretty cool…useful…and (place your adjective here). Facebook stalking, though tempting, sucks…Idaho does not.