With more and more people joining social networks like Facebook and Myspace everyday, we are seeing a rise in one of the worst social offenses a person can commit. Creeping. Before the usage of such sites became prevalent, creeping was restricted to things such as hiding in bushes, peering in windows, and eavesdropping, but since these sites have become increasingly popular, a drastic rise in creeping has been noted. Creeping now includes (but is not limited to) Facebook stalking, which is when the individual doing the creeping (the creeper) be-friends his or her victims, and then examines all of their photos, videos, wall-posts, and any information the victims chooses to list online.
Most third parties watching the creeping happen or hearing about a creeping will say that the victim asks for it by posting so much personal information or allowing the creeper access to such information, and to an extent this is true. The problem is that many of us do not find out about the creeping until it is too late. One creeper in particular that I know of comments every time his victim changes his/her profile picture, or posts any new pictures, or is even tagged in a picture. Another popular creeper tactic is to be-friend a victim’s friends in hopes to learn more about the victim. Some creepers have been known to “coincidentally” show up at the victim’s school or hometown.
There are several different types of creepers, and the two most common are the open creeper, who makes too many attempts to contact their victim and does not try to hide their creeping, and the secretive creeper, who most people do not even realize is creeping. This may make you slightly more paranoid, or it may make you ask yourself if you are indeed a creeper.
If you’re not sure if you are a creeper or if you’re being creeped on, here are some warning signs. You might be a creeper if you know many facts about a person even though they did not tell them to you, and their closest friends don’t even know. You might be a creeper if you have a chart depicting where a person is at any given time of the day, or if you make repeated attempts to be part of a person’s life by following them around without their knowledge.
You might have a creeper if there is someone who is often bothering you and feels an incessant need to try to be part of your life, no matter how often you tell him that you really don’t like him. If there is someone who comments on all of your pictures, and seems to know all of your personal hobbies and interests, he may be a creeper.
Creeping is becoming easier each day, and as a result, more people are being creeped upon. If you know a creeper or a victim of a creeper, please try to get them help. Explain to them that creeping is wrong, and while it is not a legal offense, it is certainly a social one. Tell your friends how to make their profile on Facebook and Myspace more private to prevent them from being victims, and last but not least, recognize the warning signs, (if you find yourself scrolling through pictures of people in order to learn more about them) and prevent yourself from being afflicted with creeping.
Talia Zangari is the Assistant Opinion Editor for The Voice. She is a sophomore English and Secondary Education major.