March 1, 2009

Facebook has turned me into a stalker.

I ditched my blog for Facebook. I didn't mean to, it just sort of happened. The reason being: it's easy. Facebook, for those who are completely clueless, is the lazy man's blog. And it's the most major networking site this side of the World Wide Web. You can post pictures, write on peoples "walls", post links, "poke" people, become a fan of stuff, post ranting notes, and update your status every second. You can do all the same stuff you do with a blog, but have a much larger audience because Facebook alerts all of your buddies on your slightest moves. What's that? Sort of sounds like a subdued form of stalking? That's because it is. On Facebook, you stay connected with your own circle of "friends," i.e., everyone you've met in your life that you don't mind following your every move with bated breath (friends like me). Furthermore, by accepting your friendship, these chums have extended to you the same invitation: Frisk me, baby.

One advantage to staying home with a 2-year-old all day is that I am always within 20 feet of my computer screen. I can hear every alert of a new email or message the moment it comes into my little baby's (laptop's) awareness. Facebook very kindly notifies me every time one of my friends pays attention to me in written form. At which point, I rush to see what was said in my honor. What I am blissfully unaware of, however, is what else they are looking at, reading and thinking. It is best, and safest, to assume EVERYTHING.

This is my confession: Facebook has turned me into a stalker. It's one thing to cruise through friends' blogs, read their posts and leave the occasional comment, but it's another to stay logged in all day and read every news feed that pops up - on the average of every second. And then to read every status update, note, picture comment or wall-to-wall conversation that looks somewhat interesting. This is what is stalker-ish about the whole thing. Do they really know I'm reading their conversations with other people? And scrolling back in time to read their previous statuses and comments? And looking at any picture they've posted or album they've been 'tagged' in? And scanning their friends to see who their friends' friends are?? I assume no one cares, or else they would be more private; besides, they probably do the same things themselves. Also, unlike blog surfing, you can't track on Facebook which IP address has been perusing your profile, but you can take comfort in knowing that your stalkers are only those you've invited into your personal life (although considering some of the randoms I've friended, maybe this isn't such a comfort). Still, does this type of behavior seem odd to anyone else? Does it matter? Are we all on huge ego trips and just flattered by the attention - assuming anyone else would be as well?

Okay, I do have a life. I'm not completely absorbed by the lives of others; I'm just really excited to keep in touch with people. Besides, it makes for great interactive reality web-tv. I often wonder, however, where exactly that line is that separates social networking from obsession. Because I get the impression that it's pretty thin.

8 comments:

Ryann said...

I joined facebook a few months ago and I too am a stalker. Only I can't do a lot of real time stalking because when I am up in the morning, everyone in the states is still asleep for a few hours. I wish I had optimum stalking time such as you described!

Tami said...

Ditto!

Alifinale said...

Funny. I haven't really gotten into facebook too much. I think my blogging habits won't let me. Plus it is overstimulation for me...too much to look at, too many places to go. But I do want to get better at facebook because everyone keeps saying how obsessed they have become with it.

+L said...

maybe there is somethin wrong with me, because i still haven't caught the facebook bug. perhaps that is just a reflection of the fact that I don't have enough friends to stalk. sad, but true.

becca said...

I haven't gotten into it much either, although I understand the addiction because on the occasion that I do log into my account, I can spend hours clicking through people's pictures. Have you seen that facebook music video on Utube? Hilarious.

Bailey said...

Yeah I opened a facebook account and I have looked at it all of two times maybe. I guess I'm just too invested in my blog. I also think I'm like Drew Barrymore's character in He's Just Not That Into You. I feel like I have some kind of obligation to do all these technological forms of keeping in touch. The myspace, facebook, email, blog, texting. But it's too much for me. I'll stick with blogging.

Kaimi said...

/makes a mental note to poke Melbo every now and then on FB, just to make her jump. :)

Marc said...

I'll say one thing... stalking your blog is getting a little boring.