A recent Facebook Chat progressed as follows. Please keep in mind that those in the conversation had yet to speak to each other that day:
Guy: Hey Mama, any Monitor meetings coming up I can eavesdrop on?
Girl: I could give you something to write about if you want.
Guy: Ok! Gimme Gimme!
Girl: The New Facebook: A Stalkers Paradise. Bam.
Guy: I’m down. Let’s meet up. You still in the library?
It used to be (in those bygone archaic days of plain old instant messaging) that this conversation would have only been able to happen if Guy was either a) psychic or b) a less-than-stable individual who liked to follow college newspaper staffers around in his spare time.
However, thanks to Facebook and its subsequent updates, the general population no longer needs to do the footwork. It should be said that not ten minutes before, Guy was on Facebook, and his new “real time feed” on the upper right hand corner of the Home page informed him that Girl was in the library.
As most Facebook users already know (or more accurately, and chillingly, adapted to), users of the popular social networking site are now 100% connected to every single one of their Facebook friends, every time they sign into the network, in a live stream of updates.
Remember the days when the world did not know exactly when so-and-so officially began “liking” a movie? I personally did not need to know that you just checked in at the gym. I am okay without this info. If I am on Facebook, I’m not peeling my butt off the seat to meet you. Every move you make, everyone you know, and everything you “like” is only a couple clicks away.
Frankly, my other bone to pick with the changes is the basic aesthetic. I sign on now and my senses don’t even know what to focus on. Users can feel completely overwhelmed by the new layout of the site.
Something a little interesting I’ve also noticed is that Facebook has snuck in this past year is the publishing of your “likes” and comments on people’s statuses that you are not even friends with. So in other words, if a friend clicks “Like” on my status, someone who is friends with that person, but not me, can see that this person liked it. Well, that’s uncomfortable.
The scariest part is that Mark Zuckerburg (for everyone living under the rock I wish I was under, he’s Facebook’s Chief Executive, Co-Creator, and President) has announced a whole new batch of updates added to the site, including entirely new profiles that will be implemented at the end of September. These changes will absolutely take Facebook stalking to a whole new level.
First, comes the “Facebook Timeline.” Apparently, since we live in a time where nothing is sacred, you’ll now be able to put an entire timeline of your life up on Facebook. From your birthday, your younger sibling’s birthday, through posted childhood pictures, through your school career, and on to any jobs you had or will have after graduation will now be documented and organized on your profile.
Honestly? This writer is just about done with Facebook. I’m tired of the constant distraction from more productive activities. I’m tired of completely losing track of time in order to see what my second grade best friend did on vacation and who he’s engaged to.
In my opinion, there is such a thing as being over connected, and the recent updates are another giant leap forward into not being able to distinguish between life out here and “life” in social media.