Social networks have been popular for many years now. With the beginnings of xanga, myspace, and eventually facebook social networks have become a common way to communicate through pictures and messages over the Internet. People have the ability to comment on these pictures and feel as though they are learning more about the person and gaining some insight into their life. The kicker is that you never actually have to talk to the people that you interact with on these sites. Some "friends" on these sites have never actually met. All they know is what is portrayed on the other's personal web page. Scary!
Facebook is one of the largest social networks. It provides services such as an AIM style chat, picture portfolios, videos, e-mail type messages, and wall comments. There are also many different applications that are available in order to enhance your profile. One feature that Facebook is known for is its news feed which is how it acquired the nickname Stalkerbook.
Facebook's "news feed" is the home page of every persons account. This section allows you to see information that your Facebook friends are posting and sharing with each other. This takes a lot of the leg work out of stalking. With relationship changes and new pictures flashing up onto your screen you can't help but take an interest. This information is often a catalyst in visiting an individuals' site and searching through their posted information.
I know that the very day that my new roommate information came in the mail, I got on Facebook and searched for him. I found him very quickly, friend requested him, and in a matter of hours he accepted. Once this occurred the stalking began. I wanted to learn everything I could about my new roommate. I looked through his pictures, his likes and dislikes, and even through some of his bumper stickers in order to get a sense of who he was and what he was about. I concluded that he was a weirdo.
Eventually we talked on Facebook and got to know each other that way. Some of my qualms about this new roommate were relieved, and we began to form a friendship. The first day that we met, I already felt that I knew him, and it was not an awkward situation.
I used Facebook to get to know somebody before actually meeting them. However, this is not a fool proof method. I misjudged my roommate and began to associate him with all sorts of stereotypes and other labels. When I got to know him in person some of these were proved to be false.
Many people, including myself, use Facebook as a first reference in social situations. It is used to find more information about a person's personal life. So be warned as to what you put on your Facebook page. Stalkerbook is a resource for social connections and interactions, but it is also a cyber first impression and in today's world that can make or break you.
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