When Following Someone Gets Creepy

creepy face pixa

LinkedIn tells you when someone has viewed your profile – or when you view someone’s profile.  The latter might seem useful. The former might make you feel a bit creepy.

I wrote earlier about how people are informed when you do a screenshot of someone’s Instagram photo.

And now, Facebook’s new “Stories” update also does notifications. When you watch a friend’s Story that friend will know you’re watching.  A “Story” exists for 24 hours and is comprised of one or more photos or short videos and Stories works this way on platforms that supports them like Snapchat and Instagram).

Facebook really wants you to be interactive with the database of photos, text and video you and your friends have uploaded. It has been copying some of Snapchat’s features. Snapchat is popular (but much smaller than Facebook) for its more private messaging.

Facebook’s algorithms aren’t smart enough to keep Stories (which are designed to be an unfiltered you  in the moment) away from everyone who is your “friend.”

I think most users of all these social services enjoy the relative anonymity that allows them to look through at least partial profiles without  “friending,” liking” or doing anything that reveals your identity or “creeping.”

I often see in my LinkedIn feed that someone looked at my profile (maybe a recruiter or friend of a friend). It piques my curiosity. Who is this?  I’d like to see their profile, but I don’t because my look will be communicated to that person.

Is it creepy to look at profiles of people you don’t know? Should people be notified when their content is view by someone they don’t follow or haven’t accepted as a friend?


I See You Did a Screenshot of My Instagram Photo

Instagram has made a few updates. In a nod to (or copy of) Snapchat, you can send a self-destructing messages to a “friend.” Another change that probably addresses your intellectual property (if that is what you consider your photos) – but it might also be a little creepy.

If you take a screenshot of a screen, that person gets a notification. “ronkowitz took a screenshot.”


That’s probably not an issue if it really is a friend’s account that you did that screenshot on, but if it’s your ex- or someone you have been quietly stalking, maybe not.

The two new features could actually overlap: what if  you send one of those Snapchatty disappearing messages and the receiver takes a screenshot? You’ll get a message that they did. Good to know that your message didn’t really disappear.