Category Archives: Facebook

Why We Creep

Social networking sites, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn, have all contributed to the creepiness of the Internet. Now we can cyberstalk people to our heart’s content. Whatever happened to that girl who threw pudding at me in the 7th grade, you may wonder. Oh, where did that dude end up who dumped me after our third date?

Now, instead of hiring a private dectective or thumbing through the phone book for a last name, we can simply use the search engine on Facebook. And bam! We find out that Debbie is a mother of two living in Delaware and Johnny is still doing keg stands at his parents’ house in Freehold.

Why do we find the need to cyberstalk? What makes us so interested in the lives of other people, people who don’t even really matter to us, that we spend hours combing their Facebook pages, looking at pictures, status updates, and more?

The even weirder part is that people have a fascination with the folks who were mean to them. We downright hate these individuals in real life and never call them to make a play date, and yet we visit their Facebook page, blog, and Twitter account multiple times a day. But why?

The Internet is like the rose colored glasses of real life. Everybody’s existence seems so much more exciting than it really is. Molly can post something about her recent trip to England and all of the exciting stuff she saw, when in reality she sits in a cubicle for 40 hours a week and has never been out of the country until now. Timmy can “check in” to all of these fabulous bars every night of the week and we think he’s a popular social butterfly. But instead, Timmy’s checking in to these bars by himself and passing out on his neighbor’s front stoop.

By nature, humans are curious and dependent pack animals. In the times when Ug was still beating Oog over the head with a stick and dragging her by the hair back to his cave, humans have been social and family oriented beings.

Our Facebook “pack” allows us to be part of something bigger than ourselves. When we hate people in real life, our pack instinct still pulls us to them, like the sea to the moon. Throw in the distorted reality the Internet creates and it gives us that “grass is always greener” complex.

Shameless Self Promotion

So after stumbling across this blog which in turn led me to this blog, I decided to take their advice and create a Facebook advertisement that targeted big name magazines and newspapers in the hopes that they would click on the ad, which was linked to this website, and decide to hire me.

I scheduled it to run for two days (today and tomorrow) and included the text “Stephanie Weaver is a full time freelance writer specializing in web content, news, and features. If you hire her, you win forever.” Needless to say, my efforts resulted in a total fail.

Only four people out of 2,156 views took the time to click on the ad. After this ad campaign stops running, I’m going to try and rewrite a catchier tagline and revamp my targeted audience.

The Internet is a great way to make a brand for yourself. You can use social media to target your preferred demographic of readers and create a loyal web following.

It is quite possible for any regular Joe Shmoe to become an Internet superstar. It’s just a combination of using the right factors to create interest and then plaster your name wherever you can to draw in traffic.

This blog really hasn’t seen that many visitors as of yet, aside from my friends and family (THANK YOU GUYS!). It is my hopes that I can come up with a creative and dynamic web campaign to draw more attention to this little corner of the Internet and create a professional and somewhat fun personal brand for myself.

Hamburgers vs. Friends or Why People Delete Friends on Facebook

Would you sacrifice your friends for a hamburger? Burger King asked that exact question in their “Whopper Sacrifice” campaign, promoting people to de-friend ten of their Facebook acquaintances for a free hamburger.  More than 234,000 friendships were ended because of the campaign.

The worst part is that after you got dumped for a hamburger (actually, it was more like a tenth of a burger) the program would send you a notification informing that you were rejected for a slab of grade D meat.

Burgers aside, why do people decide to totally eliminate people from their social graph? Spite? Apathy? Or just plain too many friends?

I, personally, suck at deleting people off of Facebook. I’ve accomulated more than 600 “friends” on the social website and I talk to only about 50 of those people on a weekly or monthly basis. I think I’m a.) a people hoarder or b.) simply lack the guts to clean house.

Getting voted off of the social networking island is a drag. Or maybe it’s only a drag for me because I’m a hyper-sensitive weirdo who spends 67% of her day on Facebook instead of out participating in real life.

But why do people eliminate others from their networking graph? Some do it because they find a particular person’s newsfeed annoying. But seriously, if you’re posting something every other day about Justin Bieber’s haircut I might just decide to delete you too.

Others are just thinning out the herd. Some passive aggressive types may use it as a system for getting under another person’s skin. Do you remember that movie Mean Girls that was Lohan’s downfall into prosti-tot land? De-friending is a perfect tactic for snotty teenage girls to cause each other severe emotional discomfort.

Either way, being on the receiving end of the equation is a bit painful. I mean, yah, it’s just the Internet, but nowadays, I really dunno where the ‘net stops and real life begins…