Everybody stalks a little. Let’s face it. Stalking is really is just a manifestation of curiosity. While these images might be what comes to mind when you hear the word of a “stalker”, in reality you really need be worried about these guys…
No longer do you need to sit behind someone in class or hide in a tree or whatever. Suddenly, people are willing to upload personal information onto the web. Realizing the need to gather this information, the Prince of Stalking himself Mark Zuckerberg created what he called “The Facebook”.
Look at that guy. He single-handedly boxed out competitors like MySpace and Friendster. Since it was released in 2004, over 1 billion people have joined; sharing their personal information, interests, and pictures to a flourishing online community. He built the stalkers finest playground.
Urban Dictionary, the authority on this sort of subject matter defines Facebook stalking as “A covert method of investigation using facebook.com. Good for discovering a wealth of information about people you don't actually know.”
Alright, let’s illustrate the practice with a situation….
Solution: Advanced Search. While it has been stripped down the past few years, it is still a powerful stalking tool. The first guy failed because he has no idea what he is doing. The second guy has narrowed it down a little but by school has a long road ahead of him. The third guy is golden, he utilized the name AND university search parameters, found the girl, and guess what…..2 mutual friends!
Once the stalkee's profile has been located, it is time to mine whatever data you can. With the new privacy settings, this can often be limited, but most of the time you will be able to see profile pictures and general information, including mutual friends. If you do share a mutual friend, it might be time to call that friend up for a favor.
Meeting in real life should seem unplanned. I know actually talking a to girl/guy can be intimidating for some stalkers, but if you get this far you can actually send them a friend request on Facebook.
Be sure to ask the stalkee basic questions: “Oh, where did you go to school? Where do you work? Oh that’s interesting!”
Whatever you do, don’t let on to the fact you already know all of this information….CREEPBALL!
Once they have accepted your friend request, it is time to really get your stalk on. Take this opportunity to completely judge them and make inferences on what type of person they are. Are they are worth pursuing, questionable, or just out of the question…
The main thing you have to worry about is the same-way-stander or the dreaded duckface. It’s the same look! I feel like I am taking crazy pills!
They must be hiding something.
The next tool in the stalker’s toolkit is the “see friendship” button - basically created for jealous Facebook stalkers. Click it and stare at a relationship you were entirely absent from. Look at all the pics and events they have shared. Pick it apart piece by piece. Learn to hate people you don't even know.
Facebook chat is something I have grown to love and hate. On one hand… It allows you to spark a conversation that seems unplanned. You are on Facebook, I’m here, no big deal. It’s a seemingly nonchalant approach when compared to calling or texting.
On the other hand, it is buggy as hell and there is a large risk of sending unrequited messages….embarrassing
Some basic Do’s and Don’ts:
DO…Stick to Facebook stalking in private. Close all of your tabs when you leave your computer! If the evidence isn’t there, it never happened, right?
DON’T….creep on you cell phone. It is much easier to accidentally “like” something on a touch screen. For example, a picture of your ex and their new boyfriend or girlfriend. Awkward!
Take this fine young gentleman here: he is probably leaving an awfully thought out message that he thinks is HILARIOUS at the time. For this scenario I would recommend Webroots social media sobriety test. It’s like a roadside test for your finger to protect yourself from this sort of thing.
DO…take it EASY??? Checking out your ex to see if they downgraded is fine. But to check out their new boyfriend’s job, friends, his fraternity. etc is going overboard. Don’t even think about friending him either. Walk away from your computer, stretch, and take some deep breaths.
Don’t…Play Farmville. It is the only thing creepier than stalking.
As you know - Facebook can turn the most confident people into crazy stalkers, and it’s OK. Whether you are clicking through 100s of pics or looking at every single post on their wall….It’s not like we are sitting in a windowless van outside their house, right?! We are just reading what they want us to read! No Privacy settings?? No problem!
And in conclusion…Stalking isn’t even that weird anymore. In fact, it is beginning to be portrayed in modern and sure to be classic literature as a sign of devotion and love. Perhaps we should give Facebook due credit for this wonderful paradigm shift. I love you Facebook…