Facebook isn’t stalking

The Oracle

By: Monica Cai

Facebook is my addiction; I can’t even try to deny it. Every day I spend a good two to three hours on the site, clicking between its always present window and my homework. As a faithful, two-year addict, I couldn’t help but notice when Facebook unveiled new privacy settings in December of last year. While the company guaranteed users more control over their private information, within a few days we discovered it was quite the contrary. Facebook’s revamp actually pushed us to share more about ourselves than we had before, the most glaring change being the removal of the option to make wall posts private, which published our conversations with friends for the world to see. Although Facebook recently revealed new, simpler privacy settings intended to keep more information about users hidden, the issue of public wall posts and how we deal with them will continue to exist. A nasty habit we’ve picked up is the accusation of Facebook stalking. People, it’s not stalking if it’s right in front of you.

I can’t help but notice while scrolling through the newsfeed some disclaimers people write in their wall posts. “Sorry if this is creeping,” one begins, and “I’m not stalking but…” another one starts. I’m sure that we’ve all been accused of Facebook stalking before, and while it may have started as a joke, the humor behind it has long since faded.

Reading is not stalking. Facebook’s homepage is its newsfeed, which consists of status updates, page likes, groups and, of course, wall-to-walls. By making all of these components public, Facebook is practically shoving our friends’ lives in our faces. It further entices us by providing us the options to “comment,” “like” or “view wall-to-wall.” “Liking” your post is not creeping; it means someone was trying to do homework, took a break, checked Facebook, read your post and thought it was funny. Take it as a compliment. Don’t hate on someone for appreciating what you wrote.

The same goes for comments on wall posts. We can’t be blamed for reading something that is right in front of us and taking an interest in it. By wall posting, you’re choosing to give up your privacy and to allow the world to see what’s on your mind. Don’t expect to post something and have no one read it. Facebook treats every wall post as a breaking news headline, updating its newsfeed every few seconds with new posts. If you write something, everyone is going to see it. Wall posting is not the way to go about keeping something private. Try messaging, or better yet, hit your friend up with a chat message. These two methods of communication are the only ways to keep what you want to say private on Facebook.

Most of us can agree on our dislike towards open wall conversations, but the way in which we handle them is up to us. For now, we’re stuck with public sharing of our words. Try not to