Facebook notification: You have one new stalker request

Elizabeth Fraser - Reality Check (Tom Bateman/AQ)

There’s always something worse than your whole family forgetting your birthday or realizing in the bathroom mirror that you have corn wedged in between your front teeth, and no one cared to tell you. However, the absolute worst thing that can shatter your state of being or result in eternal doom contains three words: A closed profile.

Sounds like fingernails screeching against a chalkboard, doesn’t it? Reality check: There’s a little “creepy Facebook stalker” in all of us. Some may even view this passtime as a sport.

Remember the days when we had to physically sit down with people and ask them questions about their lives over tea and cookies? Neither do I. Nowadays personal information such as interests, birth dates, previous employment and relationship statuses are right at the click of a mouse.

For a lot of people, Facebook is your own personal dating profile. And who needs to hire a stalker when you can do all the work at home?

You know you’re a Facebook creeper when you’re aware of a person’s weekend plans from reading wall posts you’ve stumbled upon, while snooping through their profile – at least 85 times that day. We all know we’re lying when we say such info popped up on our Newsfeed. Truthfully, we scrolled down our victim’s wall and read posts that dated back to January 2007.

We spend countless hours looking at pictures of our friends, and then their friends, and then their friends’ friends. Finally, we find ourselves creeping people from Texas or Argentina whom we’ve never met. However, we know their favourite artists are Soul Decision and the Venga Boys, their favourite movie is Napoleon Dynamite and people they are inspired by Mother Theresa and 50 Cent.

You also know you’re a Facebook creeper when you recognize strangers of the outside world solely through the realms of Facebook. A friend of mine received a real estate brochure in the mail. She recognized the picture of the man on the brochure and immediately knew where he was from, who his family members are and that he had recently gotten married. She found this out after creeping this man’s brother, who was in one of her classes.

It’s awkward when you have “real life” conversations with people, and ask them questions you already know the answers to, based on creeping their Facebook information. The worst part is when you send your condolences to someone you’re barely acquainted with, regarding the death of their dog Princess. They look at you confused, since they never told you they owned a dog.

Surprisingly, there are amateur Facebook stalkers out there. Don’t worry, we forgive you. An amateur Facebook stalker can be spotted on your contacts list if they firstly haven’t spoken to you in nearly a decade and “like” something on your wall that does not affect them in any way such as, a conversation between you and your mother about how you got the flu. Number two, type in a person’s name whom you believe to be searching, but instead are typing into your status update. And three, if they’re stalking STU students while in the JDH computer lab. I once spotted a guy creeping one of my roommates, and asked him why he was scanning her wall. He blushed.

Some may also view Facebook creeping as an art. One of my classmates makes it her mission to help her friends track down love interests. If you give her hair colour, height and field of study, she can track the individual down in less than five minutes.

At times it’s not our fault, and we discover information by accident. We know who’s making up and breaking up. We also know what our friends are doing online due to Mark Zuckerberg’s latest invention of the side scroll bar, allowing us to Facebook creep, while we Facebook creep. Also, we know our friends’ preference of boxers over briefs through notes which bombard our home page.

So, the next time you receive a friend request, you should be flattered. It is highly probable this person would like to be your friend outside the Facebook world, or they just need extra help with their stats homework. But most importantly, they find you intriguing and worthy of their time to stalk online.

If you decline their request, be considerate and have the decency to keep an open profile. No one likes locked information regarding your personal life.

Happy creeping and remember, real life interaction can work too. Maybe. I forget.

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