relics_on facebooks never ending ticker and the pros and cons of stalking

So, get your knees flexin, and your arms T-rexin’

Facebook’s scrolling ticker at the side of the screen is turning me into a habitual stalker and I just can’t stop myself.

Since the introduction of this feature around 6 months ago, it has been a constant stream of so-and-so likes this status and Person A is now friends with Person B and so on and so forth like a never ending list of the generally mundane. I find myself clicking on them quite frequently, and 9 times out of 10 it is someone I know commenting on the status/photo of one of their friends (who I don’t know).

Now, in the old days of faceache (and myspazz) you would have to seriously creep around profiles to find out that your friend thinks that her friend in Australia’s new cat looks a bit like Hitler. Since the introduction of this feature you dont have to creep, you can just sit watch it all unfold tick by tick.

But why do I keep clicking them? I catch myself doing it all the time, looking at a photo of someone’s meal in a restaurant, when I don’t know the photo’s owner and I barely know the person who commented on it in the first place. It’s like I have no self control; before I know what I am doing I am looking at ‘Joe Bloggs likes Alice Smith’s comment on SomeCrapBand’s wall’ with absolutely no clue as to why I am looking at it. I don’t care about the liking or the comment, but it is almost like if I don’t click then I am missing out. It’s as if not knowing that one slither of useless information will exempt me from being in the cool girl club or by not clicking I might miss out on something I would need in a life or death situation. I won’t, but these are the flimsy excuses I keep telling myself as I keep watching them scroll by.

I worry though, about if this is making me a more invasive person. I mean, I am the kind of dame who, when walking down a street will stare directly into people’s front rooms just because I like to see how others decorate. Does this mean that I am naturally more inclined to snooping, or is it a symptom of the new age of social media that even on the most mundane of statuses and online none events are as worthy of/demand my attention.

It also makes me wonder how well Facebook’s much disputed privacy settings work, if I can see all these posts whizz by me. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some pro moments with the clicker, being able to watch friends have ridiculous arguments about the local pond life or finding out snipits of news I wouldn’t have got until checking out one of my dailies (bbc news / guardian / huff po). Realistically though, not knowing wouldn’t have caused me any lost sleep. Maybe I should just put this one down to the many ways social media is ruining my life.

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