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Social Media Stalking

Walking around campus you see at least a hundred faces in one day. Some are your friends, acquaintances, or just plain strangers. Thanks to social media, and a simple click of a button, we can keep up with everyone’s online lives via innocent online stalking. We’re all guilty of it.

We know specific details about individuals we have only met once. You know that the kid in your math class has an Aunt Judy and that her birthday was last weekend. You know that Kate in your Sociology class went to a concert last weekend in Asbury Park.

Whether it be Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, social media stalking has definitely become a norm in today’s society as a way to find out how a person portrays their life on a screen versus in real life. Social media accounts are said to be the perfect way to present our lives to others, but of course only what we want other people to see.

We’ve all been in this situation, the late night Instagram scroll when you’re lying in bed ready to fall asleep. You come across someone’s photo and you like it, then you click on their page and do some more scrolling on there. You can even see someone you’re interested in or have seen before on campus, so you decide to click the tag and do some more searching.

Now, social media has become the closest and fastest way to find out any information about a person, just by simply looking at their posts and accounts. It makes it easier when we see them, there is something to talk about when you go to have a conversation with them, giving you more confidence knowing that you have something in common by what was posted.

Being in that situation myself, I would see a post of someone I knew, but never really talked to, and when I saw them in person I had more confidence to say “Hey! I loved your outfit in your post!” or something along those lines and start a conversation from there. We can also all relate to the summer before freshman year, the social media stalking of potential roommates and friends before you reached out to them. Social media stalking has definitely become a norm in today’s society.

When you tell a friend about someone you’re interested in, you pull up their Instagram page. You show them pictures of the person screaming “Don’t like anything!” before handing the phone over to your friend, who could do just the opposite to mess with you. There’s a lot of pressure these days with viewing a person’s page and double guessing whether to follow or not.

Even though there was nothing wrong with that years ago, it’s now a huge issue. There’s a stigma where if you like someone’s post from a long time ago it could seem very stalker-ish. Which of course, the reaction depends on the person, but I know for a fact it doesn’t bother me when something like that happens.

But, when it happens to the majority of people, they think “why were they on my page?” or “why are they stalking me” to be exact. Due to the rise of social media all these terms like stalker has changed the way we think about them. But we can all agree that a little social media stalking is innocent and harmless.