New Facebook application strikes panic in stalkers

I became an obsessive, dedicated member of the Facebook community the week I started at Mercyhurst College. In all honesty, I check my Facebook between 10-15 times a day and I am positive most of my fellow classmates are around that region, too. It is a great way to keep up with your friends from home, friends you made while studying abroad and your out-of-town family. But, let’s be serious, it is a better way to keep up with everyone and anyone.

This was all fine and well until last week when there was a threat of the new “Fan Check” application, which supposedly told you who visited your page the most. Panic struck Facebook stalkers everywhere.

My roommate lives and breathes on Facebook. In all seriousness, she probably has been on most of the pages of every student in Mercyhurst (as alarming as it sounds, don’t worry, she is harmless). I have never seen a reaction like her’s when I told her she had been “tagged” on a girl’s Fan Check application. Her face turned transparent and her eyes got so wide you would think she just spotted the ghost of her sister’s dog—which she refers to as her nephew. She looked at me and said, “Uh oh, this is not good.”

We both busted out laughing at the fear she was experiencing of all the people that were going to know she is constantly checking their pictures and status. But, she was not the only one filled with fear.

My older sister just missed being part of the technology generation and only discovered the addiction of Facebook about a year ago. When she caught wind about the threat of her stalking being exposed, she immediately texted me 20 questions about the credibility to the rumor she had heard.

Most of my professors and adult family members have made comments of how creepy this social networking Web site seems to them. I have always agreed because I have been stalked and I have stalked. My favorite incident was when a guy friend from home visited and he knew my roommate’s first and last name and said she had a beautiful smile…without ever meeting her.

I have never understood the severity of the problem until there was a chance we were all about to be exposed. I have to admit, it was embarrassing.

But really, take a minute and think about if the application was effective and people could know that you were checking up on them. Whose page would you show up on? How comfortable would you feel if they knew?

Relax. The application turned out to be a virus, so you can breathe…for now.