Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Epic Battle Of Accepting That You’re A Facebook Stalker.

I, Emily R. Marciniak, am a hardcore Facebook stalker.

It’s taken me a while to get to this point- being able to admit it, I mean.

Let’s be honest, we all got a little creeper in us, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter make it SUPER easy to let it out.  Whether we choose to let it out in full force, full speed ahead, checking out the ex girlfriends/boyfriends of our crushes from 5 years ago and viewing each and every one of their 672 tagged photos, or in smaller forms by simply reviewing a person’s “wall” all the way back to 2009, we. all. do it.

I don’t care if you are shaking your head at me right now.  “No, Emily, I do not stalk people.  I am above that.  And furthermore, I honestly don’t care about the pics people are tagged in, or what my ex best friend is doing with my stupid ex boyfriend on their vacation in Miami.  I just don’t.  So shut up.” Well, no, I won’t.  And I think you are only doing yourself a disservice by not admitting your true identity.  Facebook creeping is nothing to be ashamed of people!  It’s a simple fact of life!

Let me first define what “Facebook stalking” is.  According to the nationally accredited Urbandictionary.com, Facebook stalking is “a covert method of investigation using Facebook.com.” Simple, but well put.  Okay, so maybe you don’t go quite as crazy as I do and look through the “Notes” people have written (who even does that… I’ll tell you, basically no one).  However, just checking out a person’s page and giving it a once over could be considered “Facebook stalking”.

I realize that because I already admitted I am a stalker, you might be thinking I’m just trying to justify myself here.  So take it from another internet sensation, “Jenna Marbles”, a popular YouTuber who got her start with a funny video on how to trick people into thinking you’re good looking (WARNING: Jenna is as addicting as she is explicit. Girlfriend doesn’t have a filter.)

To help  you all out if you are still unsure about whether you are a Facebook stalker or not, I’ve made this list based off of some research and some of my own creative stirrings.

11 Ways To Know That You Are In Fact, A Facebook Stalker!

1. You know the middle name of your current significant other’s ex.  You might also know where they went to high school, what their current s/o looks like, and who their friends are, because they’re stalkers too and they keep trying to friend you.

2. You know the times of day that certain people will be checking their Facebook.  Sometimes you get upset staring at their name on FB Chat because they are not instant messaging you. What the hell.  Oh well, we’ll try again same time tomorrow.

3. You check your profile page and go through your pictures nearly every time you add a new friend.  It’s only natural.  That girl who was your arch-enemy in undergrad just added you and you want, no NEED, to look good.  Let’s make sure there’s no ‘special’ photos we need to untag real quick.

4. You limit yourself to only two checks of Facebook per day during Lent at 15 minute increments.  This one might be too specific. Yeah, okay, you got me, this one’s about me.

5. You have a list of friends whom you immediately text every time a new engagement pops up on Facebook. Often times, it’s a race to see who can get the news out first.  And then it’s a race to the anxiety medication because you are SO far away from ever being at that point in your life.

6. Facebook is the first thing you check in the morning, and the last thing you check before bed at night.  In this case, FB is kind of like your relationship partner.  When you find that it’s more reliable than your real life relationship partner, then you have a problem.

7. When a friend ‘temporarily disables’ their Facebook, you assume you have been removed from their friends.  And shortly after send them sad faces in multiple text messages.

8. You have gone through at least one entire photo album of person you do not even know. It’s called “living vicariously”… or being a stalker.

9. You have gone all the way back to the beginning of someone’s “timeline” if they have the new timeline format.  I’m still debating how I feel about this new FB style.  Whatever, it allows me to see what people were doing in 2007 and makes me feel better about how awkward and disgusting I was then too.

10. You are reading this because you stalked my page.  It’s cool.  No one’s judging.  In fact, I’m actually flattered, so thank you!

11. You have ever poked anyone, ever.  This part of stalking is actually just not okay.  Just… just don’t do it.

I hope this helped everyone.  Just take your acceptance a day at a time, or perhaps, a photo, or a profile page at a time.

[For more ways to tell, check out where some of my inspiration came from: click here, here, and/or here.]

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Why Facebook Is Not Helping My Anxiety

Look people, the reality is, whether you like it or not, Facebook is officially a part of your life.  Whether you have a page or don’t (and chances are  good you do- according to digitalbuzzblog.com, about a year ago, 1 in 13 people on EARTH had a Facebook… on EARTH), you’re making decisions based on Facebook, or because of Facebook, every day.

Every time you meet someone, what’s the first thing you do?  Check and see if they have a Facebook.  Let’s be honest, if they don’t, we assume there must be something wrong with them.  If they do, we first cross our fingers and wish on every star that their privacy settings aren’t so severe that we can’t even see their profile pictures without ‘friending’ them.  If we come across something strange, we DO judge.  Even though in most cases (but definitely not all, I’ve stalked people I’ve never met before), Facebook is like a second impression, it’s become just as important as the first, if not more important.

Recently, I started seriously dating someone.

I don’t think I need to even explain the relevance of this situation here in relation to Facebook, but for the sake of this blog, I will.  One of the most important parts of anyone’s profiles, is their “relationship status”.  If you saw the movie based off of the true story of the beginning of Facebook, “The Social Network”, you would know that this was the final addition to the website that Mark Zuckerberg added before making it public.  The relationship status is the cause of pain and suffering, jealousy, numerous arguments, and serious dilemmas. Which brings me to my current situation.

My last relationship I kept off of Facebook.  Obviously, this was wise because it didn’t end up working out.  It always seemed so obnoxious to me.  Why does every single one of my far and distant friends, including, but not limited to, the guy I met at a bar one time a year and a half ago, my sister’s best friend’s little brother, my great Aunt Susan twice removed, and every single person I ever spoke to in any one of my classes from undergrad- actually I take that back, it doesn’t really matter if I spoke to them or not- NEED to know about my relationship change?  And why go through the potential embarrassment of dealing with your break up being broadcast to hundreds, if not thousands of people, who are guaranteed to make comments like “I didn’t see that one coming”, “you must be really upset”, “you’re better off without him gf!”, and “I’d love to take you out for dinner…”

That being said, my new boyfriend is someone I’ve known for a while, and we have a lot of mutual friends.  Currently, I live in New York City, and he lives in Buffalo, so I don’t get to see or talk to our friends very often.  Thus, I have been debating making the relationship “Facebook official” (this is a very real phrase- you may have heard it in the sentence: ‘It’s not official, until it’s Facebook official’), and I’m not lying when I say it has been causing me a great deal of anxiety the last few days.  Granted, I am pretty neurotic.

Still, I know I am not alone in this.  My roommate is from Italy, where her significant other also resides.  Being “Facebook official” has been the subject of their arguments for the last two weeks.  No lie, it actually caused him to delete his Facebook page for a few days.

This past Saturday, my sister got married.  Approximately 8 hours after saying “I do”, her last name on Facebook was changed and she went from being engaged to married.  8 hours.  Meaning on her actual wedding day, she found the time, rather, she made the time, to go on Facebook and make these changes.  And she’s not alone in this.  I’ve found this to be the case for all of my friends who have recently tied the knot.  Often in even less time than that.

Relationship statuses are just the beginning of how Facebook affects our daily lives.  I could go on for days. What’s your opinion on the matter?  Are you for or against the relationship status?

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The Night Twitter Saved My Life… #notreallybutstill

February 12th, 2012: A beautiful day for an incredibly obnoxious but irresistible awards ceremony- The Grammy’s.  I got my work done, went to church, purchased a tub of cookie dough ice cream, made a pound of pasta, and had my personal Twitter account open with the hashtag #Grammys saved… I was SO ready to watch.

Disclaimer: This isn't actually me, it's my best friend. However her expression matches my enthusiasm for the Grammy's this night.

Disclaimer: This isn't actually me, it's my best friend. However her expression matches my enthusiasm for The Grammy's this night.

I started my all night television marathon on E!, watching Ryan Seacrest and Giulianna Rancic interview stars on the red carpet.  This is almost better than the actual awards ceremony because you get to see the absolutely ridiculous things that people will wear to appear wealthy and/or to get attention.

I love Twitter during awards shows.  It’s fascinating watching people respond to what I’m seeing on TV in real time.  I also make it a challenge to be ‘retweeted’ by someone who doesn’t follow me- it feels kind of like being a twitter celebrity.

During the last BET Awards, I tweeted “awww poor girl” #failofafifteenminutesoffame #betawards” [Click here to watch what I was talking about] and got retweeted by @RAEdiantlyRare.  One of my proudest social media moments.

When the clock struck 8pm, I flipped the channel over to CBS to watch the actual awards show and almost burst into tears as I stared at a blue screen and the bouncing words “No Signal”.  Heartbreak.

Throughout the night, the signal went in and out and so I was able to see bits and pieces here and there, but honestly I didn’t miss a thing thanks to Twitter.  I knew exactly who was performing at all times, what they were wearing, what they were singing, how the performance was, how many people wanted to be physically abused by them and more [Check out Buzzfeeds story on the girls who would ‘wouldn’t mind getting beat up’ by Chris Brown…disturbing].

Social Media has completely changed the way people watch events like the Grammys, the Superbowl, and even popular TV shows like ‘The Walking Dead”.  Somehow, that show managed to be a Trending Topic for at least a few minutes during the Grammys, which I think definitely says something for both the show, and how diverse and real Twitter’s users are.

I was an active participant during the show and tweeted all night.  A couple friends joined me, while a few other’s found it incredibly annoying. What do you think? Isn’t this how Twitter was meant to be used? To connect us to people all over through our similar interests? Or maybe we should just all go back to tweeting about what we ate for breakfast this morning…

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Social Media and Being The Oldest of Nine Children

Unfortunately, to be the oldest of nine children means that you’re more likely to have restrictions on everything you do.  Things as vast and different as snowboarding, or breathing.  That being said, my social media history was a battle with both my lack of resources and my parents.

I was granted permission to have my own e-mail address when I was twelve-years-old, in 2001.  I don’t remember exactly what my address was, but I’m sure it was something along the lines of  BsBroCkSmYSox@verizon.net or ImANiceGirl@verizon.net.  I mostly e-mailed family members, a few friends, and then a couple years later I e-mailed back and forth with a boy who was my best friend’s brother, and in college (WHOA).  My mother also set me up with a pen pal- Kelsey, the daughter of one of my mother’s very good friends who she met through common interests on the internet, but lived in another state.  Kelsey and I e-mailed a bit back and forth as well, but it’s hard to forge a relationship when that’s exactly what you are doing- forging it.

Then the coolest thing happened- AIM arrived.  It hit my jr. high school like a tropical storm.  Before you knew it, everyone had AIM, and if you ever wanted to get that slow dance with Danny at the bi-annual school dances you had better get yourself a crafty avatar, a cute screen name, and get to typing.

Naturally, there were many limits in my house with the use of AIM.  In fact, it was deleted from the computer, unbeknownst to me, on several occasions.  I believe at the time, our family computer (the ONLY one in the house) was prone to viruses, which according to my father, were coming from the AOL Instant Messenger.  Luckily, AIM set up an AIM Express on their website that allowed for people to use it without downloading.  As long as I cleared the history and told my dad I was “doing homework”, I was usually good to go.  I did a lot of homework those days.

At some point in high school, the most amazing incredible social media site (I believe) to date was created- Myspace.  Magical.  EVERYONE had a Myspace.  I loved it because you could make it so personal.  You could pick your own theme, put in sparkly bubble letters spelling your name, stalk pictures of your crush at the all boys school (yes, I went to a private girls high school…), and post ‘bulletins’!  Bulletins were the best.  I’d spend 2 hours on a 500 question survey that asked questions like: ‘have you ever gone skinny dipping?’ ‘Pepsi or Coke?’ ‘What’s your best friend’s mother’s aunts name?’ Actually, looking back at that now, maybe it was like practice for all the security questions I’d have to answer for future social media and credit card sites.  Either way, I’d answer every damn question and I can tell you for certain that literally NO ONE read them.

Mom and dad hated Myspace too.  They were certain some pervert would work his way through my privacy settings, find my location, convince me to meet him at the mall for milkshakes and that would be the end of me.  I was NEVER allowed to have a Myspace, which made it that much more thrilling.  Many tears were shed over this fabulous website.

My senior year of high school was when Facebook took off.  I was skeptical at first because it wasn’t as pretty as Myspace, but eventually I let down my walls and fell in love again.  Now I am signed up for approximately 15 different social media sites, and I have been adding to list steadily since the start of this semester.  And since I’m living on my own now, the opportunities are truly endless!

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