Dear Bwog: Facebook Stalking Edition

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Dear Bwog is back! This time around, the mysteries of weblog wisdom are incarnate in our self-described “decent heterosexual male Suzy May.” He’s fresh out of the awkward breaking-up-with-someone-near-Valentines-Day dilemma, falling for a girlfriend’s roommate, and dealing with everything from a ‘devil’s threesome’ offer to college ACB namedrops. Below, he dispenses words of wisdom on the much maligned topic of facebook stalking….

Dear Bwog,

I think I might be sort of obsessed with this one guy friend of mine. I know he isn’t romantically interested in me but I still can’t help but check his Facebook page every time I log on—which is a lot. I’ve signed up for a class I have NO interest in this semester just to be with him twice a week and always try to make sure that we walk out together even if my next class is in the same building lol. Is this stalking? I haven’t told anyone because I’m embarrassed. I know it’s unhealthy but I just like being near him haha.

Faithfully his,

Glenn Close understudy

Dear Glenn Close understudy,

When it comes to assessing stalking, the old “should I start hitting the gym?” measuring stick applies —“When you have to ask….” So, yes, you’re stalking. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that you are not the unhinged madwoman-in-the-attic you fear yourself to be, and this is an area where people truly do tend to get a bit hypercritical. Do I even need a bad Zuckerberg pun here? Bluntly put, it’s called being a Facebook creeper and we all occasionally partake.

What used to be a matter of anonymous ‘are you single?’ e-mails in high school is now the backbone of the college social experience. From browsing picture of potential mates with your roommates after the first day of class to friending someone after two minutes of conversation at 1020 (and subsequently thinking you’re soulmates because you both like “Community” and damn if her legs didn’t look double-jointed), we all do it. The blanket excuse that “if they didn’t want people watching, they wouldn’t put it online” is enough for most of us to sleep soundly
Still, even with all of this leeway your behavior is still deeply, truly unsettling. See, there are rules to creeping— illogical but very definite lines that we all subscribe to. I now urge you to get back into the healthy socially acceptable realm of “curiosity” through the following basic strategies:

  • Browse their high school pictures to your heart’s content. Don’t comment on them.
  • Start a light and breezy string of inside jokes. Don’t friend the private-profiled girl you see writing on his wall just so you’ll be able to keep track of their communication.
  • Back in the real world (y’know that thing) it’s perfectly fine to ask them if they’re taking any interesting class this semester or if they have a Global Core recommendation. It is never okay to petition for an Art/Music Hum section change to be with them.
  • And finally: drop the class, woman. Just do it.

I’m guessing you don’t need the credits, so just trust me on that one. It’s not a fun story you’ll be able to tell in a few years; it’s not a sign of devotion; it’s not a meet-cute movie plotline waiting to happen; it’s just creepy. And, I would guess, kind of transparent.

Ultimately, both active stalking and acceptable mid-level creeping suffer from the same flaw of taking way too much freaking time. It’s a way of building something out of nothing and I think we’ll both agree that just asking them out, though potentially terrifying, is a lot less of a hassle than cross-referencing them on Courseworks, finding them on the CU Directory and then conducting an anonymous background check on Google. The resulting stroll down college walk may lead to great things…Or make you realize just how completely bland he actually is. Either way, you’ll know.

And I’d be remiss not to at least make you aware of a few of the options available to you. “Talking it out” could be really helpful. And of course, there’s always Bwog commenting…



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  1. Hey babe  

    you can stalk me all you want.

  2. Sooner then better, and longer the creepie

    When you wait to long to ask someone out or introduce yourself to someone you like, you think too much in between and turn into a creep. Even though you may think it is, it's not that hard to say hi or ask someone out seconds after you both notice each other or feel like there might be something.

  3. bleh

    I creep all over the place, and i'm proud of it. sort of. my friends think i'm weird, but you know what i call them "social experiments".

  4. All this creeper talk

    is making me wish myspace still existed and you could catch creepers creepin ur profile

  5. "Decent heterosexual male"

    ...We have those?

  6. HAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave  

    you heard of the social experiment? Passwords bitches, let me get your passwords.

  7. Just don't  

    boil any bunnies.

  8. BC'13  

    am I the only person that is thoroughly creeped out by this person?

  9. Im  

    always scared someone will invent some sort of thing where people can find out if I stock them. Is that possible?

  10. Anonymous

    Depends what you're stocking them with. If you're stocking them with the entire contents of your fridge, for example, they might notice.

  11. bird  

    Dream Theater is playing Bacchanal

    get fucking stoked

  12. GUILTYYY!  

    Isn't it awkward when you see people around Columbia who don't know you, yet you know everything about their life via facebook. And then when you finally meet them, and they're like: "nice to meet you", you think: "oh that's right, I technically don't know you yet". AWKWARD

  13. Homer Simpson  

    I'm not really in any French class. This was just a brilliant scheme to get to know you better!

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