Facebook takes stalking to a whole new level

By Staff Columnist, Charles Cook

You listen intently while two kids you do not know converse about their insane weekend. You then spy over another girl’s shoulder as she shows her friend her new pictures from spring break. You finish this creepy escapade by stalking that attractive alumna from last year’s tech class to see how college life is treating her.

 The process I just described to you is weird, slightly disturbing and… socially acceptable? With all the tools that the Facebook provides for the average user, stalking is not only as easy as stealing candy from a freshman, but is now viewed collectively by students as the social norm.

 When I first joined Facebook as a wee lad during my tween era, I was simply looking for a way to communicate with friends that was not instant messaging, because that was way too elementary school, and not MySpace because that was for sketchy kids. The young entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg provided me with the perfect way to socialize and so much more.

Well times are changing, and it really seems like Facebook alters its entire layout more than I change my status.

So where does that leave us, you might ask, with Facebook? For starters, as Zuckerberg demonstrated in a recent press show, Facebook will soon be converting from the normal profile to a timeline of the user’s life that is meant to contain information on major milestones: marriage, the acquisition of a pet, the purchase of house and the birth of children. This new Facebook will be far too intrusive in the user’s personal life.

Now you may be saying, hey Charles, I’m in high school, and I’m not married or a parent. Well, these milestones might be slightly different for us. Allow me to explain. Since we are indeed only in high school, we haven’t had the chance to get married, purchase a house, or any of that fun stuff. But if Facebook’s timeline really does what is says it does, it sounds like way more of my friends will have access to some darker moments in my life, such as my chubby middle school phase. Timeline events would be riddled with middle school dances and braces.

I, as well as many others out there, have worked meticulously to bury parts of my past into places where no one can find them. This new Facebook will destroy every step I took to maintain my current stud-like persona.

Furthermore, a new feature that Facebook has already implemented is a literal live “news” feed in the upper right corner of the user’s page that is actually a live feed of everything all of your friends are doing at any time. Now, I utilize quotation marks when I refer to the “news” feed because I hardly qualify John telling the world that he thinks the last episode of The Office was bad, or that he hates peanut butter sandwiches, as news.

But in all seriousness, it seems like Facebook is making arbitrary changes just because they can, all while Zuckerberg stacks enough paper to buy CHS to use as a guest house.

So, where can we go from here? Should we all just stop using Facebook all together? Well as both you, I and Zuckerberg know, that is not going to happen. Facebook is so far integrated into its users’ lives that no matter what Zuckerberg throws at us, it will be embraced by the masses. If Facebook stays on this track, Facebook spy cameras in users’ bedrooms will be all too familiar all too soon.

I can’t take it anymore. With all the changes that Zuckerberg is implementing, it seems like Facebook will soon extend beyond the realm of cyberspace and manage your bank accounts, take care of grocery shopping and stay home and babysit the kid. One cannot help but wonder, has Facebook had one too many facelifts?