Finally: The true meaning of Facebook

If you’ve been using your Facebook account to secretly contact your friends’ spouses, people who are already in other relationships, etc., now there’s an app for that.As reported by Gizmodo, there’s a new application that will aid you in your home-wrecking crusades.  If nothing else, at least this application, called Facebook Notifier, is honest about what it does, which is to turn you into a virtual stalker: “whenever those friends change their relationship statuses, the app will email you—freeing you up for stuff like standing outside peoples’ windows, and stealing bits of their hair for your special doll.”

The most ironic part about this is that when I tried to post a link to the Gizmodo article on my own Facebook status, the Facebook site not only blocked out the title and summary of the article, which is normally aggregated from the remote site and promoted on your Facebook wall, but it shut down my attempt completely with a mysterious error:

Nice, Facebook, nice: so you can help others stalk each other, but nobody can stalk you, huh?  I understand.  Maybe it’s better this way.  I guess I should just let you go, then … and admire you from afar.

Update, Feb. 24: So it turns out that Facebook eventually decided it was a bad idea to let people use an app whose sole purpose was to stalk potential romantic interests on Facebook that were already engaged in relationships with others. That’s great. But it didn’t stop > 3.6 million people from signing up for it before it was shut down. That’s actually disturbing. But for those 3.6 million: take heart! You can still stalk old-school, as explained in this Village Voice article!

Yet another update, Feb. 25: Maybe I spoke too soon in giving Facebook credit for devaluing creepiness.  As it turns out, the app shut-down was simply the result of a misunderstanding between Facebook and the app developer, and they’re already in talks to restore the app.

In addition, Facebook has already approved yet another application: this one not only permits stalking based on relationship status, but permits the stalker to encourage a break up anonymously, by alerting the stalk-ee via the app that someone lies in wait for them in their “Waiting Room”, the identity of which is not revealed to them until they change their relationship status to “single”.  A description straight from the app’s web site: “Ever Wished A Friend Was Single? … If you’re already in a relationship, WaitingRoom will give you the confidence to become single again — if that’s what you really want.”

Confidence … yeah: that’s what I’d call it. That’s not creepy at all.


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