To creep or not to creep

What do my dental hygienist, the person who crashed their car into mine, the person who bought my guitar off of and hundreds of other seemingly random people have in common? They have all been creeped by me on Facebook.

Yes, I am a creeper. But before you start finger wagging at me, you should probably look at yourself, because you creep too, whether you know that you do or not. You creep. I creep. We all creep.

So what does it mean to creep? The Merriam Webster dictionary defines “creep” as: “to go timidly or cautiously so as to escape notice.” With this definition it is no wonder that the word creep has been manipulated to fit the world of social networking terminology.

Seen The Social Network yet? Ever heard the Radiohead song “Creep”? These two things are paired as a cover of the song “Creep” works as the main track on The Social Network’s theatrical trailer. This connection between Facebook and the word creep is known far beyond teenagers and young adults — this concept is completely understood by Hollywood filmmakers.

So what does creep mean in our modern terminology? It simply means to keep tabs on someone via their Facebook profile and status updates. But what is so wrong with this? We have made creeping seem like a horrible thing to do. I often overhear people complaining about how so-and-so commented on one of their status updates or one of their pictures. They are often flabbergasted that the commenter would have the audacity to do so. What justifies this reaction? I don’t get it.

As far as I am concerned, Facebook was created to creep. Let’s think about it. The whole idea of the site is to connect with your “friends” on the Internet. It provides a method of communication, but it also allows you to see where old friends are at now.

Come on, don’t you remember your Grade 6 love? You were more than excited when your received a friend request from them, and when you accepted that friend request, the first thing you did was to look through their pictures and see what they look like now. The next thing you did was to check out your mutual friends to see who they had been in contact with and you also read through some of their recent status updates to grasp what is currently happening in their life.

How were you able to learn all these things about this person though? It’s simple; they have posted information on Facebook for mass consumption by other people. Can you grasp this concept? It is you who controls how much information your Facebook friends know about you; it is you who fills in the blanks underneath the “Info” section; it is you who can tag and untag pictures of yourself and it is you who can choose to post or not to post status updates. It is also you who controls your privacy settings; you have the ability to choose who sees your pictures and who can view your wall. If you have a problem with someone seeing your posts, change it. Don’t let them see what you don’t want them to.

Understand this: we all creep.

We follow rabbit trails by clicking on link after link. Before you know it, you are on the page of someone that you don’t even know. It happens, and as far as I am concerned, there is nothing wrong with it. I think that it is about time that we start to embrace creeping. If you don’t like that fact that you are being creeped, stop complaining, because you have the power to change it.