Generation of Stalkers

by Allie Sivak ’11

“Yeah, I saw it on Facebook,” is the nonchalant response that accounts for the knowledge of others’ relationship statuses, work information and day-to-day activities. Ever since this social networking site’s creation, it is all too convenient to see what old friends, current friends or even love interests are up to. With the simple click of a few buttons, one can effortlessly peruse through a multitude of pictures, wall posts, comments and “likes” that basically provide a virtual outline of an individual’s recent activity in this world.

We don’t just use Facebook to keep up with friends, either—we use it to stay connected in today’s highly complex social sphere. The majority of teens are guilty of taking a look at pictures of those they may not even know, whether it is out of boredom or to do some inside research on the guy a friend is dating. Sometimes personal information pops up on our “news feed” or we go view another’s wall. Consequently, we admittedly know a bit much about others. Some refer to this excessive knowledge of those around us as “Facebook stalking.”

Modern technology allows us to progress more and more in our means of communication, and similarly, when it comes to Facebook, the advances just keep coming. Just when it seemed we couldn’t be more connected, new additions and changes continually modify the social networking site and make it easier to maintain ties with others. Lately, new features such as “friendship pages” have been added. These allow users to view the interactions between various “friends” through pictures, wall posts and “likes” that any two people have partaken in with relation to one another. In turn, now you can stalk not one but several people at once. You can see how long a couple has been dating or when two people first became “friends.” In addition, the new Facebook profile has created a picture banner at the top of one’s wall that displays a person’s most recently tagged pictures to “let your friends know what you’ve been up to.” The wall-to-wall has also been abolished, and replaced with snippets of what you write on friends’ walls, allowing everyone who views your page to see your Facebook activity in detail.

Where does it end? While these new additions are admittedly entertaining and addicting, they simply give us too close of a glimpse at others’ lives. Years ago, knowing what events someone attended, who they are friends with or what they did last Friday night may have been considered exceedingly creepy. Yet, to our generation, knowing any less simply seems unfathomable. Face the truth—we have become a generation of stalkers.