by Kelsey Eidson | Staff Writer
Do you ever find yourself aimlessly dwelling on your best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s uncle’s Facebook page? You aren’t alone. Facebook stalking has become a strange new fad, and most people don’t even seem to notice what they’re doing until called out for it. Everyone, from your friends to your mom, is finding entertainment in stalking the meaningless statuses and pictures of strangers in the Facebook world.
“To be honest, I spend about 50 percent of my free time on Facebook,” sophomore Raquel Kimm said. “And most of that 50 percent is spent [on] what people call ‘stalking’.”
While some Facebookers might find the notion of a stranger staring at their pictures slightly disturbing, Kimm has another outlook on the subject.
“If I were to find out someone was stalking me, I guess I would kind of be honored, in a weird way,” Kimm said.
However, some people may take it too far. Having strangers stalk you is one thing; having a mom prowling around your profile is quite another.
“If I found my mom looking through all my pictures, it wouldn’t only be weird, but slightly annoying,” Kimm said.
For sophomore Courtney Zito, interacting with her mom on Facebook is a reality.
“At first it was weird, and I didn’t really want to be her friend,” Courtney said.
However, Teresa Zito has made herself at home on Facebook, leaving her daughter with mixed feelings.
“She’s pretty much on Facebook whenever she gets the chance,” Courtney said. “And I’m pretty sure she stalks me.”
After considering Courtney’s accusations, Mrs. Zito defends her case.
“I usually check Facebook at least once a day, sometimes as much as five times a day,” Mrs. Zito said. “I think I’m on less than Courtney.”
She does not consider herself a “stalker”, but does admit to checking her three daughters’ walls daily.
“I’m not on Facebook much outside the house,” Mrs. Zito said. “Usually only when I’m in the car and Mr. Zito is driving.”
Like the younger generation, Mrs. Zito also enjoys scanning pictures of her friends.
“I like Facebook because I have connected with many people from my high school days and many relatives that I have not seen in years,” Mrs. Zito said. “I also like being able to look at their pictures and seeing their families and children.”
Meeting up with old friends and relatives is generally agreed upon as a positive outcome of the social networking revolution. However, many people consider ‘stalking’ a negative byproduct.
“One day, I decided I would create a Facebook,” Kimm said. “As I was trying to find my friends from the beginning, I just clicked from profile, to profile, to profile, and then suddenly I was considered a stalker.”
While searching Facebook, one can stumble upon a stranger’s profile with startling ease. A user might find commonalities with the unknown individual or just enjoy peeking into another’s life. The appeal, though unorthodox, is undeniable.
“I’m pretty sure everyone on Facebook is stalking. If they say they aren’t, then they are lying,” Kimm said. “I, Raquel Kimm, am a Facebook stalker.”