Sanctioning Online Stalking Makes College Kids Billions

My friend and I joke that Myspace, Facebook and their ilk are really what amount to “Sanctioned online stalking”. I’m now convinced that Facebook, in a way, really does encourage this, at least in terms of making initial contact.

See, al of these social sites allow you to make “Friend Requests” (I’ll leave out the argument about whether you can call thousands of people on your list that you never actually talk to “friends”), and they allow you to send a message to people besides. The problem with Facebook is that the message has a very low character limit. On one hand, I understand this to an extent, as it prevents people from writing pages-long love letters to people they’ve barely met. On the other hand, though, it also prevents you from saying anything more than “Oh hey I went to high school with you remember me?” to people that you knew in high school (Or college) and are curious to know what they’re up to. Again, some could see this as a good thing, but I think it’s possible to have this curiosity without being a shady creep, and it’s sort of frustrating.


    • James on October 7, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    There is defintely a sketchy aspect to online social sites. I put up sites to help with my book sales and stay in touch with interested folks, but I’ve found it to be a weird experience overall. Since I’m not a stalker nor am I particularly stalk-worthy, there’s not really an angle like that for me but I’ve had a few odd request from people I actually knew nad was never friends with in my youth, let alone now– weird.

    • emptyeye on October 7, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    Yeah, had I put a bit more thought into it at the time, I probably would have made the MySpace account more focused on my music as opposed to a general purpose account. But oh well.

    And like I said, the problem I faced specifically wasn’t just that there’s a stalker element to the whole thing, but there was really no way to not sound like a crazed stalker type in only 255 characters (Which is a lot less than it seems like). Oh well.

    • James on October 8, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    I see what you’re saying. 255 characters is pretty brief, especially if you’re trying to explain why you’re not a stalker–maybe you should just say ” Hi not a stalker write back marc”

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