Facebook stalking has been slowly on the decline for a while now.
There was a wonderful time when you could look at everyone’s photos, provided they went to your university, and people posted incredibly personal stuff on each other’s walls.
Here’s how to see Facebook stalkers. Basically, go on your profile and look at the nine friends Facebook has decided to show in that grid to the left of your timeline. That is sorted, not by random (as we once believed) but according to the following criteria: people who have liked things or written on your wall, people you have recently messaged and interacted with, people whose profile you’ve stalked, people who have gone on your profile.
So if your ex shows up, that one you’re friends with but haven’t interacted with or looked at for years, and they’re in that grid: they’ve been looking at your profile.
Yep, gone are the days that you could spend hours Facebook stalking someone – not just in terms of privacy, but because once everyone has learned about this rule, you’ll know you’ll show up in the grid. And nobody wants to be in the grid.
Here’s an ode to Facebook stalking:
1. You’d find a picture of someone they sometimes hung out with in one of your friend’s photos
Boom, all you needed to do was trawl through their photos to find a picture of them and you’d not only have their name, but you’d have their profile.
Now, if you see someone they hung out with tagged in a picture, you can’t look through their photos unless you’re friends.
Or they happen to have old albums that aren’t private. The only way to find your stalking object via one of their friends timelines is if said stalking object has posted to their timeline. And nobody writes on anyone’s timeline any more. It used to be called a wall. Now it’s just link bait from your mum.
2. You could poke
OMG poking used to be a thing, for like six months, before it became the barometer for bad student stand-up. ‘Hey, instead of poking, why don’t we just have sex?’ Oh lol. But seriously, it was the equivalent of matching on Tinder except you saw the person regularly in the canteen.
These days, my mum pokes me quite regularly which Freud would have a field day with.
3. You’d be able to look at what they wrote on people’s walls and learn about their personality/grammar
Remember ‘Stevie wrote on [Insert Name’s] wall? And the ‘See wall-to-wall’ option? Hours of fun looking at past conversations, finding out how they go to that coffee shop loads or how they’re likely to be at that club on that night?
Now all we’ve got is ‘See friendship’ which only works if you’re friends with them. And again, nobody writes on anyone’s walls so even if there was a wall-to-wall, it’d be really boring.
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4. You could see what they looked like
Every time anyone went out in the noughties, there’d be an album put up called something like ‘Messy night’ containing 119 pictures of varying degrees of quality. You could see them at their grossest, you could see what they really looked like.
Now, you’ll be lucky if one picture goes up after a night out. And it’s usually been airbrushed on that weird app my friends have started using that has totally tricked me into thinking I look better than I actually do.
5. You could spend hours going through their pictures
I remember a guy once saying to me at a party, ‘I liked your bikini pictures from August 2007 when you went on holiday with your family to LA’ as if that was cool/funny. Thing is, we all knew that everyone was looking through our photos, we just didn’t want it to be vocalised.
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But apart from the fact that you can only look at photos if you’re friends with the person, you now have to be wary of spending too much time on there thanks to finding out about this new ‘Friends’ grid algorithm.
Do you want your ex to know what you’ve been doing?! Probs not. Although I’m fine, because I’ve already embarrassed myself with an ex enough when, a couple of years ago, I liked a photo from 2008. Of us. And then couldn’t unlike it because he’d get the notification anyway.
Just don’t stalk your ex on Facebook, guys, it’s not worth it.