In the world of love and relationships, social networking has become a double edged sword. Social networking sites have revolutionized interpersonal relationships for the digital age, specifically romantical relationships. Whether a relationship was built and formed or simply maintained on sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, these sites have changed dating forever. For many young people who grew up on the internet, dating has always entailed knowing your partner's every move, resulting in a generation that accepts quasi-stalking.
For the 47% of adults over the age of 27 that are members of a least one social networking site, we must do better than those in a younger age bracket. That means that as tempting and as easy as it is to "track" the object of your affection, don't do it. What's both scary and comical is that many of us wont admit to our stalking tendencies. The truth is, your obsession with following your boo's every move on Facebook is just as unhealthy as hiding in the bushes at night. Because so many are in denial of their stalking tendencies, here are 10 ways to determine if you're social networking stalker:
1. You check his or her profile page more than four times a day.
You don't need to review status updates, profile pic changes and added friends every 20 minutes. If communication between the two people involved is at the level it should be, then you should already know what your partner is doing without caring about every single little detail that he or she chooses to post.
2. If you've Googled "How to retrieve a person's password."
You've already gotten them to log onto their profile on your computer, hoping 'Autoform' would save the password. Now you're upset it didn't work, and you're searching for how to crack the code. Passwords are created to protect privacy. If you're bold enough to go on a mission to get your partner's password, how about being bold enough to ask directly?
3. You've ever created an fake account to keep your stalking a secret.
Yes, you already have a Twitter account but decided create a duplicate one under a different alias so you can get all the information you are searching for without looking like you're doing it. So when you send him a message from @100real asking if he's dating someone, you know it's a setup. No matter what his answer is, your relationship will fail without trust, anyway.
4. You lied about a status update so that you could stalk them in real life.
You're on your couch on Friday night upset she's going to hang out with friends for a "Girls Night Out." Instead of letting her enjoy her freedom, you update your status "Watching the game with my boys," just to throw her off when you show up at the very same bar where she and her girls are grabbing a drink. Shame on you.
5. At any given moment you know the exact number of his or her friends/followers.
Not one new friend/follower gets by without you noticing. You know the exact date and time his two co-workers friended him on Facebook bringing his total friend count at the end of the week to 167.
6. You check the status updates, walls and pages of their friends.
Just to make sure what you are told is substantiated, you checked every family member that she said attended his mother's birthday party, making sure there are no details that she may have regretted to leave out. Yes, her aunt Suzie did bring her potato salad...
7. You've asked an unsuspecting friend to friend/follow the person you stalk.
Did you just ask your friend Keisha to follow your new boo on Twitter after he decided to make his page private? What's worse, are you calling Keisha every night for her to run down his day before you end yours?
8. You've download FB/Twitter/MySpace to your phone in so you can check his or her page on the go.
You've made sure your Ubertwitter and Facebook mobile have the most up-to-date version on your Blackberry or Iphone.
9. You've created Google alerts for your partner'sprofile names.
Now, whenever anyone mentions his/her name you receive an instant email to notify you. If that isn't stalking, we don't know what is.
10. You begin to start your sentences with "Well, his/her Facebook said..." and "On MySpace I saw that he/she.."
Get a grip.