So I got curious about what happened to people I went to college with and signed up with Friendster yesterday. My account had my real name and a real photo. First I just looked up my old friends & acquaintances, and then I got bored and browsed through everyone's profile. Totally harmless right?
Ha. I just now noticed the feature that says "Who's viewed my profile?" I thought, "That's odd, do these people know they're being reported to me?" Then I found out I was being reported to everyone whose profile I had viewed! Most of the people probably wouldn't have thought anything of it, but I did look at the profiles of a few of the girls I had asked out but who'd rejected me. Now they're gonna think I'm one of those clingy "my crush burns eternal" guys. It was totally harmless! But how do I reassure them of that other than write a message saying so -- which would only confirm their suspicions of my clinginess! Also, I looked up some of my co-workers -- just to see how prevalent this thing is among people my age, and now the females are gonna think I'm checking them out (not likely!).
There's a place for innocuous, quotidian voyeurism -- y'know, like when you were in high school and looked up your crush's pictures when the yearbook came out, stuff like that. Imagine if everyone whose yearbook pictures you looked at received a notification! So I just deleted my fucking account rather than suffer the public humiliation. That's what I get for taking a stroll down memory lane: some damn computer broadcasts my private wanderings to the whole world!
[For the differential psychologists out there: file under Neuroticism.]