Social media is all around us. From “friending” people on Facebook that you haven’t met yet, to “Instagramming” Gasson Hall, social media has become an integral part of our experience here at BC. But would all of these actions be as casual in real life, or just plain creepy? Here are some online norms we shouldn’t try and emulate in real life.
1. Facebook Stalking
On any given day of the week O’Neill or Bapst is crowded with BC students studying for midterms, doing econ problem sets, writing papers and Facebook stalking. What if we physically stalked each person we thought about throughout the day while they were studying or at a party? I’m talking about those hard-core stalking sessions when you figure out your crush’s mom’s maiden name, when you’re actually supposed to be working on a financial accounting project due in 3 hours. We would all walk around following some senior’s little brother, who may or may not have the biggest forehead you’ve ever seen before. Can I watch you eat lunch at Hillside or choose a new pet? What about your family trip to the Cape? Any place, any time, I’ll be there.
You are scrolling through Facebook and see a page for your favorite band or a clothing store and you like it. You publicly just liked something. Your second-cousin’s mother just saw that you liked the Chipotle page, and has no idea it’s only so you can get alerts for when the burrito bowls are $3. It wouldn’t be normal if we went around saying out loud what we like without anyone even asking in the first place. I took the liberty of finding some of the most obscure Facebook pages which people I now call my ex-friends liked on Facebook and here they are:
- Dear Pringles, I cannot fit my hand inside your tube of deliciousness
- I hate it when you’re with MC Hammer and he doesn’t let you touch anything
- Friends are like potatoes… If you eat them, they die
Just imagine yourself walking up to your sister’s college roommate and telling her “It blew my mind to know “Jackson” from Hannah Montana is 30 years old”. Creepy.
3. Instagramming Gasson and/or Food
As a BC student, you can scroll down your Instagram feed at any point between sunset and sunrise and find a picture of Gasson Hall with an ironic filter. I’m pretty confident my mom has done that and she never even went to this school. Furthermore, I would bet good money that any one of us could scroll down our feed and find an artsy picture of your friend’s North End meal or White Mountain dessert. It would genuinely be the weirdest thing ever if we walked around handing out pictures of our food to people. If I sat in the Quad handing out prints of all the fall pictures I’ve taken in the last month just for the satisfaction of knowing they “like” it, my motives would be questionable and my life would be shambles.
4. Sharing Albums
Looking through people’s family albums used to be a thing people tried to avoid. Now we find ourselves interested in what “the new girl in middle school who you never really knew but added months ago to be nostalgic” did while on her sorority trip to Disney World. And I mean interested. We scroll through 87 pictures of our roommate’s fishing trip or Kairos retreat or weekend at home. I know it’s nice to see how your friends from home spent their Halloween, but conceptualize the level of creepy one would experience if I walked up to my cousin’s boyfriend, whom I’ve met twice, and asked to look through the album of his family’s trip to Niagara Falls in 1993.
“Following” random people is popular on apps like Twitter and especially Instagram. We follow celebrities, stores, restaurants, our school and even actual randoms we do not and will not ever know. Could you imagine literally following interesting (and even not so interesting) people around? Just one look at a trendy chick and saying, “I really like your style. I think I’ll follow you, pay attention to what you wear every day, and try to be like you.” This could end up like Facebook stalking except you would be waiting around for a picture of the new line of Bean boots or a sassy comment about Hillary Clinton’s ankle to retweet.
Retweeting would resemble following someone around and repeating everything they say verbatim. Literally following funny people around and just yelling everything they say, while simultaneously making air quotes with your fingers. The creep award would be given to people retweeting pictures in real life, like from BC Makeouts or BC Bananas. As someone takes a picture of their best friend eating a banana in Lower, you would just grab the picture from them and run around showing your friends.
7. Friending people you don’t know
Freshman year we all joined the Facebook group of your incoming class. For some reason, we think that requesting a bunch of people we don’t know will help us ease into the new transition from high school to college. Visualize what it would be like to walk up to a stranger and ask to be their friend or follow them around: “Hey, accept this friendship. Just go with it. You’ll be able to see an entire photo album of my dog. It will really be great for this relationship.”
Honestly kids, this is just creepy. If I ever run into Mark Zuckerberg, the fake Mark, Jesse Einsenberg, heck, maybe even Justin Timberlake himself, I’ll ask what the deal was with inventing “poking.” Just keep your real and virtual fingers to yourself.Featured image via. Flickr/BeFit.