* hi. yes, i’m blogging about facebook. as we become a) more accustomed to having other people being able to find information about ourself and b) being able to readily find information about others, the whole thing seems progressively less creepy. i remember when i first joined facebook, i was quite a bit behind my peer group because i found the concept of having an online window (or fishbowl, depending on how much you shared) into your life a tad unnerving. i wouldn’t post my class schedule (remember that?) or my phone number or university residence. i only added people, well, with whom i was actually friends. but as facebook has evolved, we probably have too as users. or maybe it’s that we’ve all become complacent with facebook forging more in-depth “friendships” for us. the creepy factor is increasing and our reaction decreasing.
this is probably because a vast majority of people who have had facebook for a while and have peers in the same boat are now socially dependant on it. we’re willing to put up with a lot to keep the service it provides. for the most part, we can lock down our profile as much or as little as we want from certain friends and the general public (excluding marketers and government/law officials, but that’s another post). privacy settings are pretty easy to adjust and customize, except they keep changing, which could mean that girl your friend is friends with but you’re not could view that photo of you throwing up in the bushes. solution? don’t post photos of yourself throwing up in the bushes. but all kidding aside, the more gadgetry and complexity facebook adds to its features, the more “creeping facebook” becomes a serious deep dive into someone’s life.
take the “see friendship” link that automatically replaced the “wall-to-wall” feature. now, you can see the two people’s names, their networks, photos both people are tagged in, mutual likes, a list of all of their mutual friends, wall posts between the people, the events they both attended, and posts in which both users commented. above the ads in the right sidebar is a new “browse friendships” search tool that prompts users to enter their name or a friends name in one input field, another friend’s name in the second input field, and then click “see friendship”… creepers rejoice.
before if you had wanted to determine the connection between two other people, you would have to sift through all their tagged photos looking for ones with both people, view their wall-to-wall page, manually compare their friends and likes, and there wasn’t any way to see their shared events or comments… damn. must have been frustrating for creepers back in the day.
warning: friends of friends privacy setting now has greater significance, as a user only needs to be friends with one person and have access to the profile of the other (the other person has to have their settings to “friends of friends”) to see friendship page between the two. yikes.