Opinion

Facebook ‘News Feed’ feeds stalkers

When Mark Zuckerberg first started Facebook back in February 2004, it was a tool to help connect students at Harvard. Now, it has exploded to include over 2,000 universities in nine countries – and that’s not including high schools, companies or local networks.

Facebook has become as synonymous with the college experience as drinking beer and developing terrible eating habits. It has become the ultimate time-waster, as any procrastinating student who has spent hours browsing the newly-updated profiles of friends (and we use the term “friends” loosely) instead of studying can attest to – and although most loathe admitting it, it was a fun way to kill time.

What made Facebook so popular, and arguably as fun as it was, was the groups feature (it was good to know there were other people whose lives were changed by R. Kelly’s “Trapped In The Closet”) and writing random one-liners on people’s walls. But then, things started changing, and more additional features were slipped into the site, allowing students to reveal more and more personal details.

Friend details, then status updates, then ‘notes,’ and now, the dreaded news feed. As of print time, it’s barely been a day since it’s been introduced, and it’s already achieved notoriety around the nation’s campuses, whether because of its tediousness, completely unfamiliar format, or the fact that most people are simply uncomfortable with the idea, now made reality, of everyone they know watching everything they do. The hundreds of groups that have popped up protesting the changes, one of which now boasts over 500,000 members, reflect this sentiment dramatically.

Facebook has always been the butt of jokes that refer to it as a stalker’s paradise. Terms such as “Facebook-stalking” and “Stalkerbook” are familiar ways to describe this sentiment. However, the news feed feature gives eerie credence to these claims. Facebook seems to have one-upped itself, going beyond what any of us thought or wished for into the territory of near scary absurdity. Half the fun of Facebook was searching around, checking for new photos and witty wall posts. Now, that is gone, and replacing it will be the fun of playing the role of Big Brother and stalking your friends, while they in turn stalk you, as soon as you hit the main page. Somehow, that just doesn’t seem right.

September 8, 2006

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

After assembling one of the nation’s best groups of skill position players in the 2018 recruiting cl ...

Coach Kool, AKA Craig Kuligowski, is gone from the University of Miami, which is entirely uncool wit ...

He is considered among the finest defensive line coaches in the nation. And now, according to a writ ...

This is the time of year when every win or loss can make a difference in a team’s NCAA Tournament ch ...

Mike Brey doesn't pay much attention to the NBA draft stock of opposing players, but the Notre ...

At the University of Miami, the professor has the last word on whether students can use their laptop ...

Members of the University of Miami first response teams remind us of resources available and what to ...

Mexican activist, poet and novelist Javier Sicilia deplored the violence stemming from the “drug war ...

From the North Pole to the South Pole and everywhere in between, the art of UM alumnus Xavier Cortad ...

The No. 25-ranked University of Miami women's golf team finished ninth at the 2018 Allstate Sug ...

Three Miami women's tennis players are featured in this week's Oracle/ITA rankings, along ...

Riding a five-game road winning streak, the Miami women's basketball team will look to make it ...

After capturing its opening series with Rutgers, No. 24 Miami continues a season-opening, seven-game ...

Walker IV scored 19, Izundu scored 14 and the Canes picked up a crucial win in South Bend. ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.