Facebook and Myspace: Social Networking? Or relationship killing stalking devices?

Written by brokeupboy. Posted in The Vent

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Published on February 13, 2011 with No Comments

Myspace StalkerThe ubiquitous poke, the race to make a Top 10 Friends and the temptation to “innocently” stalk the potential new relationship or the one that has just ended have changed our interactions. All of these things are a far cry from what first began, as a search engine for people to reconnect with those they once knew. According to Techcrunch.com, Myspace has 100,000 active users and Facebook 200,000 to date. That’s a lot of potential unknowing Internet stalkers in the making.

Recently in the news, a woman was murdered by her jealous husband who had been enraged after misreading her Facebook status.  
The very idea of the “status” is a double-edged sword. For an established couple, there is no issue with the labels; “single”, “in a relationship”, “married” and so forth; please don’t get me started on my “it’s complicated” as a status option tangent… aren’t they all?). But be warned; if you are in a new relationship be careful forcing a status change. The publicity of it inevitably alters the dynamic between people and breaks down some of the intimacy you may be trying to build.

Chris: My ex hacked into my Myspace and found out that I was “talking” to another girl and used that as a reason to break up with me. True story.

I remember when I was going through a breakup in my mid twenties and was consumed by checking the status of my ex’s page. I even went as far as giving my Mom my password so that when I was away from my computer she could check to see if he had changed his status.  I mean in those days, there were no internet phone options so what else could a girl do?!). We had already ended the relationship, but the idea that it would be blasted all over the Internet for others to see felt like it would happen all over again. I shortly thereafter cancelled my account. Years later, much more mature, I opened a new account on a rival site. Yet as my latest relationship drew to a close, there I was again afraid of the upcoming “status change” sting. My own personal status says I am in a complicated relationship with my female friend. Granted she is quite beautiful and I would be a very lucky woman, but alas I am not interested in women.  Although I am sure this image created excitement for all the men who got my updated status, only problem is, she is happily married. So, I am also a hypocrite in all of my riotousness about the ridiculousness of status and postings.

With all that being said, why would the simple click of a mouse still alter the current state of my mood? I thought for a moment about the distinguishing feature of a public forum, about my sensitivity surrounding the comments posted on people’s walls and about the man who killed his wife over the words she wrote. Most harmless natured comments can be taken offensively when they’re through text, email, or heaven forbid the World Wide Web and not spoken. This entire article can be misconstrued, but the fact that one is posting it “on a wall” or “on a page” rather than in a private email signifies that they want mutual friends or chosen strangers to see what they are writing.
How much do you really want to reveal to your 10,000-networked friends? Think of your motives and the motives of those who may be pissing you off! With all the words and changes, it is just as likely that they want you to see what they are writing. I surveyed how people use these sites, (via Facebook “note” application of course) and this is what I came up with;

Julia: Ha. I don’t think I can get an ounce of work done without having Facebook at my fingertips. I even downloaded it onto my blackberry. But then the BB started acting funny so I removed the application. I think the real point of this is doing combine the crack-berry with the Facebook pipe!

Chris:  My ex hacked into my Myspace and found out that I was “talking” to another girl and used that as a reason to break up with me. True story.

Julia:  I don’t even know. Honestly most of the time there is nothing new to check. I mostly like looking at pictures of people. I never read people’s walls because I think it would be boring!

Lisa:  Call me a narcissist, but I come on and check out my own stuff……I never look at anyone else’s. I hate applications, don’t care what people are doing except for to send them a message and what not. It has taken me over 2 weeks now to come up with 25 random things about myself (still got the window open, I think I’m on #4) because every time I start typing it, I come up with something better to do……or I just don’t know 25 fascinating things about myself in which I wish to share with the cyber world!!! Facebook is creating a society of over reactors in which people say things without thinking, think the world cares what they’re doing every minute, badmouth people on each other’s walls (whatever happened to getting your ass kicked at the maple tree for talking shit) and oh yeah, when putting up a status for the entire internet world to see, please make sure the spelling and grammar is correct, or take 3 minutes away from Facebook and peruse dictionary.com!!!!

Guy:  Real insecurity issues it seems with those Facebook stalkers. Explains why lots of them are ex’s.

Brian:  Because it helps us justify the amount of time spent on a computer “interacting” with others, instead of actually interacting with other?

It seems everyone I asked, from 15 to 35, had either a horror story or funny quip about their ex and their madness on one of these two sites.  I imagine if we continue to ignore the good old face-to-face encounter this is the burden we will have to bear. Technology is fantastic, but we are still human apparently. So, it’s our decision how much we want a fad created for and by young corporate America to alter our perception on our own realities.

About brokeupboy

When no one else wants to take responsibility... I said it. Follow me on Twitter for more ramblings on living the single life. @BrokeUp

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