Today was a good day. The end of an era, some might say. Today, I deleted my Facebook account– for good! After learning about the new “Friendship pages,” feature, that was my last straw. Facebook, better known as Stalkbook, has officially given the average user super private investigator abilities. With seemingly one click, any one can study the relationship between two friends on Facebook. While they thought they were doing its users justice by implementing said feature, they’re actually enabling a much more powerful stalking tool that could prove to be very dangerous in the future.
When I first joined Facebook back in 2004, I was happy to be able to reconnect with friends at a distance. I loved how I could send them messages and keep in touch. As time went on, more people joined Facebook and the term “friend” came to mean something much broader. It meant “Hey I know that girl from high school. Yeah she’s totally my friend!” Thus the term “Facebook friend” was born. As this phenomenon continued, privacy actually became an issue before anyone even noticed it. It got out of hand. The guy across the hall in college from three years ago could see all your wall posts, pictures, etc… When you think about that, it’s actually sort of scary. Do you REALLY want other “Facebook friends” following you and your entire life when you’re not really friends in real life? We’ve unknowingly welcomed stalkers into our lives.
Insert Facebook’s new Friendship Page feature. If you didn’t think anyone was truly Facebook stalking you before, they are now. This feature allows anyone to follow your friend timeline with any mutual friend. Want drama? You’ll get it. Jealousy? Yeah that’ll come too. Do you want to put up a fake Facebook account, become Facebook friends with two people, study them and use that for a private investigator business or for your own serial killer mentality? Well you’ve got that too.
My advice to all of you is to re-evaluate what it really means to be on Facebook. Do you do it just to reconnect with friends, or do you enjoy stalking the lives of others? If it truly is friends you want, ditch your Facebook account and find other mechanisms to communicate. If the addictive stalker in you cannot get enough, stay put. You’ll have tons of fun now.
Some of you may be wondering…well why didn’t you just take the time to filter through your friends list to ensure that you only have your true friends on your list? Simple answer…I’ve got better things to do. Goodbye Facebook.