X Close


Tuesday, 4 February 2014 | MYT 8:00 AM

FB is 10: Stalking and addiction part of the downside

THE free social media network, which has been around for a decade now, was founded by a student in 2004, and stream-rolled all its rivals to take the online world by storm.

Unfortunately, as much as Facebook has become a large part of the lives of many, some people out there have let it take over completely.

Over the last decade, we have heard many stories of people being obsessed with Facebook, and about three years ago, the term Facebook Addiction Disorder (FAD) was born.

FAD is a condition that is defined by the amount of hours spent by an individual on Facebook, and is usually considered serious when the healthy balance of the individual's life is affected.

According to the official page of FAD, approximately 350 million people around the globe suffer from the disorder. Symptoms include reduced social activities, virtual dates and fake friends, ultimately leading to severe social isolation.

It is not uncommon to come across people who stay completely glued to their phones and other devices even when they are in the company of someone else.

People who experience this isolation, in the midst of "socialising", eventually fail to face reality. This reinforces an unhealthy way of living which does not only affects an individual mentally but physically as well.

Facebook stalking has become a prominent issue in society

And then there's Facebook stalking. This issue has become prominent in the last five years, where people, especially young girl,s have been badly affected or even murdered by their Facebook stalkers.

One can't expect the police or even Facebook's management to immediately identify and prevent a dangerous person from having a Facebook account. Therefore, the onus is on users to ensure that we do not post any information that may jeopardise our safety.

Facebook was once an avenue for people who live far apart to keep in touch and perhaps share some photos, but appears to have involved into a device where people share their entire lives. In fact, it's as if something doesn't really happen unless it's displayed on your timeline!

Posting up your activities, even when you are just in a restaurant near your home having dinner, is sometimes not a very good idea. An app called Foursquare, which is used by many to tell others exactly where they are, is a convenient source for any stalker.

Countless times, we have all encountered some girl or even guy who posts inappropriate photos on Facebook. Exposing their body, in an attempt to get attention, and ending up getting into trouble more often than not.

There are cases where such images have been misused for porn websites, and recently, a local psycho created a blog about young Malaysian girls. and posted pictures of girls believed to have been extracted from Facebook.

Take, for example, the case of a model from Los Angeles, Kourtney Reppert, who was stalked and threatened through Facebook in 2012.

The then 27-year-old Kourtney was stalked and threatened by Luis Plascencia, a 47-year-old man from Chicago who sent her nasty messages, sometimes describing how he would like to have her and her family killed.

The Chicago Sun Times reported that Plascencia, in his threats, outlined that in order for the threats to cease, Kourtney needed to stop modelling and head back to college!

There was also a season back in 2011 in the United States, when prisoners used social networks  to harass their victims or accusers and intimidate witnesses. California corrections officials who monitor social networking sites said they had found many instances when had inmates taunted victims or made  sexual advances.

Many might say "I only add or accept friend requests from people I know" or "I have beefed up my privacy settings", but there's this little thing which pops out on the right side of your screen while you are on Facebook known as the 'Activity Ticker" and this allows people (even those who aren't on your friends list) to be able to view your activities. All you need is one mutual friend.

So do not post anything that you wouldn't want to be in the public domain. There is only so much you can do, and in a case where there is a stalker after you, he or she might find whatever means to get that information.

Facebook is still a great way for people to communicate with one another and share their lives with friends and family ... but beware the addicts and stalkers!

Tags / Keywords: Facebook , 10th anniversary , FB is 10 , Social media


Most Viewed

Powered by