Stalking can sound a little harsh, when it’s done in a harmless way, it’s really a virtual form of people watching.
We all engage in a small amount of social chit-chat from time to time, it’s kind a like having a little gossip session, only we’re the only one’s partaking.
Facebook stalking (not the serious heavy obsessive dangerous type stalking)—can be a guilty pleasure, when it is used lightly.
Almost everyone will admit to a small amount of stalking at some time or another. It can feel like a secretive-private-detective-covert mission to gather up as much—often useless—information on someone that you can find.
We kind of think it’s okay. These people have put the information out there for all to see—we’re just taking a peek! That’s all good, when it’s done in a healthy and non-obsessive way. Most of us will admit that from time to time we enjoy sneakily looking up someone, that we are really not meant to.
Twitching social media’s curtains and looking into each others’ private lives is almost the whole reason for Facebook’s existence. We each create a profile, post on Facebook all kinds of personal information, photographs and beliefs, then press send for almost the whole world to see (unless privacy settings are in place.)
If most of the following list resonates a little too deeply, it may be the case the stalking is verging on the obsessive side and it may be time to take a few steps back.
Here are the 22 signs you might be a Facebook stalker:
- You know before anyone else does that a relationship has ended. You’ve studied the decrease of shared photographs of the two of them and noticed the positive words turn to negative ones in recent status updates.
- When you meet with a friend you have nothing to talk about as you know everything that has been happening lately thanks to their Facebook feed.
- You notice that someone has removed you from their friend’s list.
- You block someone, or even worse, you ask them if they will block you as it’s the only way you can stop yourself from visiting their page constantly.
- You turn up somewhere to deliberately bump into someone as you noticed from their status that they had plans to be there.
- You freeze when you almost type their name as your status update instead of writing it in the search menu.
- You turn your laptop or phone away from everyone so no one can see that you’re browsing random Facebook pages.
- You panic when you see the “find out who’s been stalking you” ads pop up.
- You accidentally friend request someone or “like” something on a page you’ve been stalking. And your heart momentarily stops.
- You meet someone new and can’t wait to get on the Internet to look them up and find every tiny detail about them.
- You’ve deactivated and reactivated your account due to your addiction.
- You have a list of people that you regularly like to check in on.
- You can decide you like or dislike someone you’ve never met, purely on the last few statements they’ve made on Facebook.
- You find out something that upsets you about someone close to you and then have to figure a way to bring the subject up in conversation.
- You’ve broken up with someone after trawling through everything on their page.
- You start to crush on someone you’ve stalked.
- You meet someone new and think you know them but then realise it is only from a recent stalking session.
- You leave a comment on a photograph of someone from years ago.
- You’ve checked out all the guys or gals from your partners past—and compared yourself to every single one of them.
- You mention something to someone that you can only have known by looking on their page.
- You create a fake Facebook page to enhance your stalking ability.
- You’ve often wasted a whole entire evening of your life that you can never get back looking at useless information about entirely random people.
So, to find out if you are a Facebook stalker or not, it’s very simple:
- Log in to Facebook.
- Go to your profile page and on the right hand site click “View Activity Log.”
- On the left hand side there will be a list of activity, click More.
- At the bottom, click Search—and immediately hit “Clear Search at the top if you’d rather not know!
So, once you’ve stalked your own stalking, you’ll either feel immensely proud that you’re not as much of a stalker as you thought, or you may find it’s a huge reality check and shakes you enough to prevent you from stalking as much (or at all) in the future.
It’s natural to be curious and it can be completely harmless.
Facebook stalking can feel good, but it can also feel really, really bad. Know where the line is and draw it.
It can become obsessive and can place all kinds of distorted and false representations of what is actually going on in the real world.
Keep it healthy, keep it in check and be respectful.
Put down the laptop or phone, meet people in person face to face again and connect the old fashioned way. It’s much more thrilling learning all about someone in person rather than scouring through every detail online.
Sometimes it’s nothing more than a bad habit that really needs to be broken. Make note of how much time you waste plowing through data, much of which you really don’t need to know about. Add up the time and choose to spend the time doing something you really love instead. Like with most addictions you can sever the ties immediately, or wean yourself off little by little.
Just realising that something has become a habit can be all that it takes to stop it in its tracks.
“It may be that the strongest instinct of the human race, stronger than sex or hunger, is curiosity: the absolute need to know. It can and often does motivate a lifetime, it kills more than cats, and the prospect of satisfying it can be the most exciting of emotions.”
Walk the Talk with Waylon Lewis (& Rachel Brathen!):
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Alex Myles
Editor: Travis May