And Here We Go......

Welcome everyone to my personal blog. I'm really looking forward to sharing all my insights with you, and I would love to hear your comments. Blogs are all about voicing your opinion, so let's look to do that as much as possible. ENJOY!

Monday, February 21, 2011

New Facebook App Teeters on the Edge of Stalking

Facebook is continuing to pour out applications. This week, the popular social networking site is off to a fast start.

In an article on CNN, Facebook has released the "Facebook Breakup Notifier" app, which lets users pick certain friends whose relationship status they want to monitor. When one of these people's relationship status changes, the user is then notified of the change via email. It's perfect for those who have their eye on someone who is currently taken. As the app promises, "You like someone. They're in a relationship. Be the first to know when they're out of it."

Here's a picture of what the new app looks like, and its also at this site:

But does this app, which was created by Dan Loewenherz, cross the border of becoming "stalkerish?" At first look, the concept of this app seems to indeed carry a stalkerish vibe, as people's love lives could be being followed by others without their knowing.

In a column called "Signs you could be a Facebook stalker," William Marshall clarifies some of the activities on Facebook that would classify a user as a stalker. While Facebook stalking is a presently an undefined term, there are activities that can clearly constitute stalking. Marshall goes on to say that "if you are infatuated with someone and you are paying close attention to their activities to further your chances of a relationship with them, you are stalking." In this sense, Marshall sees Facebook stalking as "an unknown and unwanted amount of attention by another user." With the points that this article makes, it's easy to see that constantly monitoring the relationship statuses of other users is clearly considered stalking.

But while Facebook users may find it creepy, it will undoubtedly become a highly popular app among users. It has the potential to be the next big thing on this social networking platform. The thing is, no matter how stalkerish a Facebook app or other social media platforms may seem, we always aggregate to them and turn them into the most popular apps and platforms on the web. Instead of turning our backs towards these stalkerish apps, we soak them all in.

I believe that this Breakup Notifier app will follow the same path that other stalkerish apps have gone down. While there may be initial concerns about its stalkerish vibe and privacy concerns, this app will become a huge hit on Facebook and users will flock to it. This shows the power of social media, and at the same time it shows the potential negatives of social media.

For your viewing pleasure, I've included an advertisement for Virgin Mobile which shows how social media can be used to stalk other people's lives. It may be a funny commercial, but in reality, things like this are actually happening.

Well, now it's time to hear your opinion. What is your take on this new Breakup Notifier app? Do you feel it crosses the line of "stalking?" Do you think it will become a popular app among users?

I for one will now be more aware of who I'm becoming friends with on Facebook because who knows, maybe they only want to be friends to follow my relationship status. Let's hear your take on the issue.


  1. No way this app becomes a hit of facebook. There is more to life than facebook and getting emails about facebook and facebook relationships. And who cares if someone knows you're single or in a relationship? Its not like people hide that in real life, it's not like facebook is giving out your social security number here... facebook is just letting other know who you be wit and who you been wit.

  2. Michael- I am going to have to agree with Andrew on this one. Well i do agree that facebook has many stalker tendencies and people can be major creepers on facebook I do not think this app is going to take off. I think that if people are really that big of a stalker they are probably checking the person's facebook page daily. They wouldn't sign up for the app for fear someone will find out!

    None the less interesting article. It's always fascinating to see what new apps are hitting the market!

  3. I'm curious to see how well the application floats. It has gotten a lot of attention already, so I think many people will use it just to check out the hype. As for longevity of that use--we'll have to wait and see.
    While it may be creepy or "stalker-ish", the application is not giving users any information that the person they are following hasn't already willingly provided to facebook. Thus, I don't think facebook users can be "creeped out" by the application. If a user doesn't want others to know about their relationships, then they don't have to post their relationship status on facebook. The application can only use what the users themselves provide.
    Who knows, maybe the application will lead to "facebook stalkers" being more productive and doing less active stalking. If they can simply receive an email notification when the person they are interested in is available, then they don't have to waste countless hours checking that person's status and can put their stalking skills to use elsewhere.

  4. Without a doubt this is stalkerish!! This is why I know some people who don't even put their relationship status on Facebook because if you're a true friend of theirs you will hear about changes in their status. Stalking someone's relationship status is just creepy.

    Like Samantha (comment above me) I wonder if this app will go well within the Facebook community and how many people actually know it exists. I don't know if it goes against privacy laws those since as a user you choose to post your relationship status. I hope it doesn't catch on and Zuckerburg (sp?) finds a way to block it. It's just downright creepy, but at the same time I hope people are smart enough to not be "friends" with someone on Facebook that is looking to manipulate your relationship status.

    On a lighter note, I saw that Verizon commercial for the first time the other day and laughed out loud. It was too funny! At the same time, there are most definitely people out there like that. Maybe social media is just making stalking easier if people aren't smart enough about what they post and who they allow to see their posts...

  5. Wow- great article. If Facebook hasn't already become "stalkerish" it has definitely hit a new level. However, I agree with everyone else, in the fact that it won't be a huge it. Although I do believe that it will have more people "liking" it, then we think, but I don't think it will rank in the top 5 apps at all. Like stated before, if you are a true friend, then you will find out about a breakup. And to be honest, if someone has a monitor on me, and in the off chance I found out, I probably wouldn't give that person the time of day, due to their creepiness and keeping tabs on my life.

  6. I guess that I've felt that there has always been a feeling of stalking on Facebook and adding another app like this won't change that feeling. I don't see it being a huge hit since usually the people you would use the app for you would know pretty well. If their relationship changed then you would probably know it without the app.

  7. I didn't even hear about this. Crazy!

    I agree with Samantha and Emily. If people are willing to post personal information online, then they must accept the fact that everything will be inspected by friends. Also, everyone is guilty of stalking on Facebook to some degree, even if we don't want to think of it that way.

    There's no way that this app will gain mainstream popularity. It's just not necessary for Facebook. The only people that do add it will most likely be people with no lives, gossips, or those that are already creeps to begin with. If that's the case, this app will only make those habits or lifestyles stronger. That's probably something that we don't want to happen!

  8. I completely agree with the general consensus: CREEPY. This app just upped the stalker factor of facebook that much more. I thought someone said they took it down, but I just googled it and it looks like the app is still active, which scares me that they haven't done anything about it yet. I guess it just goes to show how creepy facebook really is.

  9. I think the ads is crazy stalking. I agree with Clare this is a little too much for people to have and anybody who has it should be considering creepy. The video is very funny though, great post!