The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
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I am an addict

I am an addict. It’s hard to say, but it’s true. My addiction is not illegal or harmful to others, but at times it is harmful to me. Not only have I recovered and relapsed from this vice, but I don’t see any real recovery in the near future. I am an admitted repeat offender. The withdrawal was too much for me the last time I tried to stop and I ran to my source and got my last fix just a moment ago. Before this article is done, I will have fed the addiction four maybe five times more. I am a MySpace and Facebook whore.

Is that laughable…even offensive? Well, say what you want about my word choice; it’s true. What better way is there to describe the way I flaunt every aspect of my personality with intimate details for any and everyone to see and probe? People can come in and out of my page as they please. They can take the time to get to know my page or just take it for face value and get what they want and leave.

Now, before you go any further, you must know that I am exaggerating the similarities between having a MySpace or Facebook account and prostitution for comedic effect, but nonetheless similarities do exists. Like I said before though, the habitual MySpace or Facebook checking is more of an addiction than anything. Although I am an admitted addict, I would say that by no means I’m the worst – not even close. I am a musician, so I use my MySpace more than my Facebook for responding to booking invitations, communicating with admirers of the music, blogging, etc. It is a really nifty and innovative platform to promote quality entertainment for people online. However, some people become consumed by these networks, completely engulfed in checking updates and, the worst of all, stalking.

Some addicts take the focus off themselves and navigate the site for hours on end looking at every update and photo their friends have posted. They learn everything about your page and read all of your wall comments and posts. Is that bizarre or just curious? If you knew exactly who was doing this, would you be weirded out? In my mind’s eye, I picture the confrontations some people might have if they were confronted by their stalkees.

Stalkee: Um, I was checking my Facebook last night and I noticed that you were looking at my page for one hour. It said you looked at every single one of my 500 photos, commented on 70 of them, read all my wall posts and then requested to be in a relationship with me…(maybe exaggerating a little!) That’s a little creepy considering I don’t even know you.

Stalker: A stalker? Me?! That is preposterous! Come on, you know me. I’m in your Spanish class, remember? Yes, we’ve spoken before. Remember that time you bumped into me and said “I’m sorry” and I said “No problem, I’d let you bump into me any day.” You laughed a little and smiled. Remember?

Um…crazy! OK, I’ll admit it’s not that bad, but it’s close. You know its true. Some stalkers are harmless and just curious people, others are predators. If you have been conscious for the past two or three years, you know the deadly effects MySpace has had on young peoples’ lives. You have to protect yourself and be smart about what you post and censor out anything that could be damaging to your reputation or end up harming you in the future.

We have all heard stories of sexual predators that lure children into sexual activity and others of murderers finding their next victim on MySpace. However, sometimes the communication you have with a stranger (or even someone you know) can lead you down a road you don’t want to travel. Remember the 13-year-old girl, Megan Meier, who recently hung herself in her closet after receiving hateful MySpace messages from a person with a MySpace account created and accessed by her ‘friend’s’ mother? This case is extreme, but it happened.

Despite everything, I would like to believe the pros outweigh the cons, and that these social networking sites are ultimately good and add to our global community, creating a greater sense of inter-connectedness. Unfortunately, the reality is that many times it creates even greater isolation in society with individuals who spend all their free time online and miss out on the fulfillment of that basic need for human contact. Just like all technology use, it should be limited. You should probably go up to that person you’ve always wanted to speak to in class instead of Facebook stalking. Opt for the real thing instead of virtual chat. Have a latté with your friend instead of messaging back and forth, and participate in REAL life. It’s much more fun and fulfilling. That’s a lesson I am slowly learning myself.

Brent Lemons is a junior international relations and political science major. He can be reached for comment at blemons@smu.

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