Monday, April 21, 2008
So, a friend of my co-worker Jim has an ex girlfriend he can't quite get rid of. I'm talking a year after they've been broken up she's still constantly contacting him to hang out. Anyway, through what one could assume was an exercise in online stalking, said ex recently discovered that Jim's friend is seeing someone new.
Now, most (normal) people I know would accept this fact and move on. Those who are captivated by the ease of online stalking clearly behave otherwise. The ex used Facebook to send rather nasty messages to Jim's friend's new lady. Seriously?!
My friend Eddie Radshaw contends that Facebook doesn't create stalkers like the ex in question; rather, it empowers them. He reasons that this girl probably also stalks in real-world terms. I'm not so sure I agree with him. Sending an evil Facebook message seems rather innocuous compared with showing up at someone's apartment uninvited, for example.
So does Facebook create stalkers, or does it simply make stalking easier for existing stalkers? As a non-stalker, I'm not so sure. I'm inclined to think that perhaps it does a bit of both...
Friday, April 18, 2008
But sometimes she has a soft spot - as indicated by the following reaction to a Facebook update.
Long ago - when I was in college, and for a couple of years after - I dated one of the nicest, best guys I've ever known. But it just wasn't right and I ended up breaking his heart pretty badly. We don't talk much; I like to stay friends with exes, but it just didn't work out that way with this one. We're Facebook friends and that's about it.
Sooo... I was just checking out Facebook, and looking at my recently updated friend profiles. And this ex - we'll call him Fred - had an update that said: "Almost 6 years to the day since an earthquake woke me up in the middle of the night."
He lives in Chicago now - and the profile refers to last night's Midwestern quake. It also refers to a mini-earthquake that happened when we were together in undergrad in Vermont.
It was just the smallest thing... but I'm not sure anyone else would have had the same reaction to his profile update as I did. I was there with him for the Vermont earthquake... and it made me think about our relationship for the first time in a long time. Part of me wonders if he knew I'd read it... part of me thinks it was just a passing comment. Either way, I guess this is the first time a Facebook interaction with someone who used to be in my life kind of got to me in a real way. Not to sound too sappy or anything...
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Anyway, thanks to people coming their senses and making their information private, there's not a lot to learn about these kids on Facebook (aside from if they're cute enough to meet Jim's standards). But, a few of the candidates actually weren't on Facebook at all. According to Jim, this made them suspect.
With the younger generation, it seems that an absence from online social networks sets off alarm bells. And I can kind of understand Jim's perspective; if everyone that age is Facebooking right and left, what kind of person doesn't participate? Sure, my friends aren't all on Facebook - but the site didn't even exist until I left college. We communicated via IM and, yes, landline phones when I was doing my undergrad. Facebook is such a given, on the other hand, with people several years my junior that it's hard to think of someone opting out.
Again, it comes back to the role Facebook, and social networking sites, play in our day-to-day lives. In this instance, choosing not to participate on some level is apparently a professional deal-breaker. At least, it is when someone like Jim is making the decisions...
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Here's what's interesting: it took her all of two seconds to re-join Facebook. They were beyond happy to have her back and made the process as simple as possible. I guess Facebook knows that quitting is hard. And it's not so easy to leave the online social sphere.
Monday, April 7, 2008
The rationale behind said dating status change was not anything significant; I'd accepted a couple of friends from work and didn't want to be broadcasting that kind of information to my co-workers.
But, no sooner than I'd deleted it from my profile than I received a series of Facebook messages (and text messages) about it. My friends wanted to know: was I still single?
Seriously. I'm not trying to be a grinch, but I'm just not that calculating of a person. I wasn't trying to say ANYTHING by deleting my dating status. My goal was to say less, not more.
So... apparently I need to be more careful with my Facebook profile. I guess the smallest moves online can have massive consequences...
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Long story short, when we got home, my roommate made the bold (and relatively novel) decision to completely eliminate her Facebook profile. Just like that, she's gone from the online social networking world.
Her reasons? She simply didn't feel like she wanted the whole world to know her business. Most of her Facebook "friends" were completely superfluous from her "real world." She was tired of being subject to online stalking. Nothing major prompted this decision, mind you. Really, she just didn't see the value of it anymore.
As much as I rant about the validity of Facebook "friendships," I have to admit - I'm TOTALLY not ready to give it up. Maybe I'm becoming an addict, or maybe I find it a fun distraction from time-to-time. Either way, for me, it's kind of like once you start, you can't stop. Apparently my roommate felt otherwise about her weak social ties...