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Facebook Creeping: How It Helps And Hurts You

(Memphis) Some consider it stalking, others think it’s a great background check. No matter what you think, Facebook creeping is here to stay.

“We will sit down for hours looking at the Facebook page or even further into Instagram and Twitter,” University of Memphis college student Elizabeth Harris said.

Memphis college student Elizabeth Harris says it’s just part of living in the digital world.

“We'll start looking at my guy on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or whatever. We’ll creep through some of his photos, find out where he works or if we have any mutual friends. So Facebook creeping is something definitely my roommate and I do,” she said.

It’s common to dig into what friends, future boyfriends or girlfriends, and exes are doing just by looking at their digital trails.

“Whether the trail you leave is positive or negative largely depends on your actions on line,” UM Professor Darrin Devault said.

Social media experts call it the modern background check.

“I think people want to get to know someone virtually before they meet them face to face or in person,” Devault said.

“When I first got to college I was meeting so many new people it was hard to trust people off first impression so the tendency nowadays is to find them on Facebook and you can see their whole past right away,” student Tom Wilcox said.

While you can dig into future acquaintances, you can also keep up with your past and many do.

A study by Western University found nearly 90 percent of people creep on their exes profile pages.

Wilcox admitted he's done that a time or two.

“I think you don`t tell yourself you are creeping your ex-girlfriend you tell yourself it’s okay. I think you have a tendency to look up a lot of people in your past,” he said.

Since you never knew who is on your page always assume a future employer could be searching you too.

“Consider what you post and how you present yourself on line because it does matter,” he said.

Wilcox learned that as a public relations major.

“I think if you have a well put together profile and you limit what you put you can come across as a very good person,” he said.

“If you do have concerns about privacy I would encourage users especially on Facebook and Twitter to activate the privacy settings,” Devault said.

Filed in: W82TEXT

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