How to Avoid Being A Creeper

15 Apr

The other day (sometime last week), I ran into a person who lived on the same floor in the dorms as me. I haven’t seen him for 2 years, and I was pleasantly surprised! We very briefly chatted, and as he left I shouted for him to drop me a message on Facebook. His reply: “I don’t have a Facebook!” It made so much more sense. I had looked for him just a few weeks before this, and was upset at the thought that he had deleted me from Facebook(I thought we got along well enough).

I got home later that evening, and struggled to remember his last name. When I finally remembered it, I went on to the college directory and looked him up. I really wanted to hang out again, but with no phone number and no Facebook, I had no way to contact him, so I decided to see if I could get his email address. Success. I sat down that night and wrote out an email in which the first line was something similar to “I know I’m being a little bit of a creeper, but…”

When I recounted this story to a close friend, she immediately called me a creeper for looking up his email address. I told her I had put that in the first sentence, and then I explained my actions. The way I see it, if he thought I was being a creeper, he would ignore my email and I wouldn’t hear from him again (it had already been 2 years, so no harm done). If he was okay that I looked him up, then we would be able to hang out and catch up.

Well, guess what happened? He emailed me back, and we may be hanging out next week.

With the technology that today has to offer, there are an infinite number of ways to find out what so-and-so is doing (Facebook and Twitter to name a few) and with the development of these social sites has come about the term “Facebook stalking” (or just stalking..or being a creeper…you know). Don’t deny it. We’ve all been there.  

And despite the abundance and use of social websites, people who seek out information about other people are still called “creepers” or “stalkers”.

The only way to not be called one of these names: Don’t use social networking sites.

Seems counter-intuitive, right?

Without using Facebook, I had to find a way to reconnect with my friend, or it was likely we would never reconnect. I think it was completely acceptable to look up his email address. There was a time in which we had to look peoples numbers and addresses up in the phone book to find them. It wasn’t considered creepy then, so why should it be considered creepy now?

And as for social networking sites…if someone doesn’t want you to know something about them, they won’t post it. Everything else is fair game. People don’t post pictures and status updates so they can look at them; they post because they want other people to be involved with their life, and be up to date on whats going on. This being said, there is absolutely no reason why looking at someone’s profile should be considered “stalking” unless its excessive and inappropriate.

Do you agree that looking at peoples posts on social networking sites isn’t creepy? Do you think looking up my friend like I did was creepy? 

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