Thursday, December 9, 2010

a stalking I will go...

None of you who know me will be surprised that I am a professional stalker... in Facebook-land and real life, too.  And, as my buddy Martin pointed out last night... it's totally what the invention of Google was all about, right?

So here is the question of the day: what is the line between stalking and... ummm... getting to know someone?

I'll explain...

I have a new friend.  At this point, she's only my friend on Facebook.  Well, that's not totally true... our girls have dance together.  Anyone who has daughters/children in any sort of extra-curricular activities knows the joy of "Dance Moms" (read: Preschool Moms, Church Moms, whatever.)  If you aren't in the inner loop, then while your child is enjoying that activity, you sit... cleaning out your purse, sending texts, reading a book.

Some days, that's heaven.

Some days, that's lonely.

E has been at her dance studio "full-time" since August.  There's one mom I know in there from a previous Kindermusik experience.  When she's there, we chat.  It's nice.  One other mom I've thoroughly enjoyed talking to, but quite honestly, I don't even know her name.  The Kindermusik Mom knows another mom there, and the three of us have chatted in the past about books, church, and church books.

Then last Saturday while we were at "Tangled", I saw "other mom" leaving the theater with her kids... and I didn't even know how to address her.  "Hi, Dance Mom who I've talked to about books!"  Yeah, no... so I didn't say anything.

Until Tuesday.

Tuesday, once sweet E was in her precious pink outfit (without shoes, because we'd left them in Dan's car), I went up to that mom and said "This is ridiculous.  I saw you on Saturday and didn't even know your name.  My name's Becky.  What's yours?"

Yep.  Just like that.  Just like any normal person should have done months ago.

Then, because my new friend had a name easy to find on FB (me: hmmm... I'll just check and see if she's on here)... now we are Facebook friends.  Shocking, I know.  But my friend request to her said "Please be my friend on here so I can know someone at Dance."  (The other 2 moms I talk to there aren't on FB.  I've asked.)

New Friend, if you are reading this, don't worry.  Now that we are friends, I will not attack your precious hour of time without your little one.  I will not sit beside you each week and make you tell me all the fun things you've been doing.  But, I will like knowing you by name.

And, people, let's be honest... I won't have to interrupt your precious time... because I will know all the fun things you've been doing... because I'm a professional stalker.

Therein lies the question: is reading someone's wall truly stalking?  That's the whole point of Facebook, right? It's a public forum to post what you want people to know about you, right?

Don't hear me say I read everyone's page... I'll be honest, I don't have time for that.  I read my News Feed.  If you post fun pictures, sometimes I see them.  If you send me a message, I read it.  And sometimes, when I have a moment, that leads me to go to your page and see what you've been doing.  Then I'm all "I didn't know you know her!" or "I have always wanted to eat there... was it good?" or "Who knew you were from the mountains!"... and then a beautiful virtual relationship is born.

But is that not the point?

So help me process this, friends... when is it stalking and when is it using FB for what it was intended- the sharing of social information?

All of this to say that this morning while I should be polishing up my Ice Breaker for MOMS at church, I've been "stalking" my New Friend's page.  Who knew she just ran a 5K?  Amazing.  And, she had Chicken Pie for dinner.  Lord, help me, I love Facebook....


sarah t said...

I will now be offended if you don't stalk me enough. That is all.

Laurie said...

Totally the point of FB, not stalking. From the "experts" at wikipedia:

Stalking is a term commonly used to refer to unwanted attention by individuals (and sometimes groups of people) to others. Stalking behaviors are related to harassment and intimidation.

Your attention is not unwanted (they friended you). And best I can tell you aren't harassing and mostly don't intimidate...that is until we see your 14,000 friend list.

Courtney said...

I'm right there you with you- a stalker extraordinare! there's no shame.