I will shamelessly admit that I occasionally Facebook creep on people I barely know (or don’t know at all). It’s interesting (and startling) to learn more about someone without ever having any physical interaction with them.
[Also, if you like that one girl in your sixth-hour class but don’t really know much about her, it gives you a chance to discover her interests. This gives you have a half-assed chance at having a decent conversation with her– assuming you ever get the courage to talk to her. 😉 ]
But there is a fine line between “acceptable” Facebook creeping and just being creepy.
Just because someone puts their cell phone number on their Facebook profile DOES NOT mean that you should text them– especially if you’ve never met them in real life! (You also should not attempt to call them– that’s twice as creepy as texting.)
A person’s phone number is a very personal thing… Most people only give their digits to other people that they’ve met and trust enough to not abuse it. Simply because a person posts their phone number on Facebook does not mean that they don’t care who text messages them (there are multiple reasons for posting one’s number on Facebook; my personal reason for posting my number was so that my real-life friends could find it in case they ever lost it).
Bottom line: Do not text a person without receiving the number from the individual who owns said number first– especially if you got the number off of a social-networking site. It’s f**king creepy.
ALSO: Please do not try to flirt with someone by sending them a message on Facebook. It’s creepy, pathetic, and ridiculously obvious. Nothing says “I’m desperate” like sending a flirty message to someone you’ve never met simply because you think they look cute. If you don’t have some real-life connection to this person (ex. they’re a friend of one of your friends, you have a class with them, etc.), don’t send them an obviously desperate message. A casual IM is much less creepy
Please keep this in mind the next time you Facebook creep…
Those Who Have Been Creeped by Online Creepers Way Too Many Times
P.S. The above things have happened to me multiple times (most recently, tonight), with some people coming off as super-creepy and others as merely interested in meeting someone new. There’s a way to interact with other people using social networking, and the easiest way to do it without creeping someone else is to ask yourself before you message/text/IM: Would I feel creeped out if some random person did this to me?
P.S.S. I’m removing my cell phone number from Facebook tonight…