Are You A Facebook Stalker

The terms “stalker” and “cyberstalker” have largely negative connotations, but the truth of the matter is that many adults are guilty of stalking other people online in one form or another. Whether to track an ex, co-worker, or old friend, people all over the country flock to social networking sites like Facebook to try to glean personal and professional information. From sifting through photographs to identifying a workplace, all of these forms of investigation can be considered stalking, and it may be time to do some self-reflection about your secret habit.

According to an Oxygen Media survey of more than 1,600 social media users, only 40% of women between the ages of 18 and 54 admitted to stalking their exes on Facebook, but experts believe the percentage is low because most people won’t confess to the practice.

Here are some tell-tale signs that you might be a Facebook stalker:

1. You religiously visit somebody’s Facebook page several times a day, so much so that you know what date their relationship status changed.

2. You immediately notice when your target’s profile picture changed and sometimes go as so far as to leave a comment about it.

3. You know exactly where your target works and even the names of some of their coworkers.

4. You find yourself linking to your target’s friends’ pages just to learn more information about your target or to read comments he/she posted.

5. You’ve tried to “friend” your target’s friends to gain more access to the person you stalk.

6. You’ve created a fake account just to improve your stalking ability and maybe even “friend” your target with the hopes they won’t wonder who on earth you really are.

7. When your target changed their privacy settings to block you from viewing their profile page, you began searching for them by name on search engines or linking to their profile page through their friends’ profiles.

8. You sometimes lie in your Facebook status just to get your target to talk to you.

9. You read wall-to-wall threads just to follow an entire conversation involving your target.

10. You “poke” people just to get their attention.

11. You’ve actually Googled the best way to cyberstalk on Facebook without getting caught.

As humorous as some of the signs listed above may sound, cyberstalking, or electronic harassment, is considered to be a serious crime in many states across the country. Victims are protected by both state  and federal laws. Facebook stalking in particular is a rapidly growing trend and may lead to in-person stalking if not addressed early.

If you or someone you know is a victim of cyberstalking, contact the National Center for Victims of Crime or call their hotline at 1.800.FYI.CALL.

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