For my breaching experiment I chose to break a very basic social media rule: liking someone’s pictures or status updates from years ago, a.k.a. “creeping” on other’s Facebook. I chose five people on my Facebook, one of my best friends, couple of my other friends, and two other people who I was acquaintances with. In the span of three days I randomly liked these people’s old pictures and status updates.
I chose to violate this rule because it would not embarrass me or affect my social media reputation. (I am not very comfortable making a fool out of myself online, lol.)
I did not end up getting much of a reaction from my subjects. To collect my data I observed my subjects’ Facebook activity for the days. My best friend and one of my other friends decided to do the same for me and like some of my old pictures. One of the acquaintances ended up liking my latest profile picture, but that was it. And lastly, from the two other subjects I did not get any response.
Knowing how people actually reacted to my breaching experiment is hard, because a lot of people choose not to act online and just to wonder themselves. I am sure all of my subjects where somewhat confused about why I was stalking their Facebook profiles. I am not surprised that my friends decided to do the same for me, I probably would have done the same if the roles were reversed. However, if it was an acquaintance of mine, I would probably not do anything either and just think to myself “what a creep.”
I think why people often choose to not ask questions or act online is because we as a society have learned that what goes up online, stays there forever. Knowing how to act online and behave responsibly is very important, since anyone can get their hands on almost any information online. This is something a lot of people learn in college. When we start talking about job opportunities and about the fact that possible employers are able to see your social media and if you are not presenting yourself well online It will not look good for the employer. Therefore, doing something embarrassing, weird, or inappropriate online is not a good idea and could possible affect your future negatively.
Below is my Facebook activity log showing some of my likes for my subjects.