On Facebook Stalking

facebook stalking

I’ve gotten so used to the shame that comes with Facebook stalking, I subconsciously avoid directly addressing it in posts.

Well, people, it’s time.

Facebook stalking is something everyone does. Naturally, then, there’s no reason for it not to be addressed. It is as unavoidable as me getting my period for the first time in the middle of my hiking trip during sleepaway camp–in other words, it is unavoidable as f***. If we’re all Facebook stalking, then there must be a reason why. Though the practice is mindless in itself and only requires the clicking of a mouse every couple of seconds (next photo, next photo, next photo), its significance as a contributor to the millennial persona is wholeheartedly huge.

Apparently, Facebook is a “sharing” site, though we know that isn’t true. Is sharing really sharing if it’s a one-way kinda-sorta thing? We don’t really communicate via wall post (um, excuse me, I mean timeline post) as often as Zuckerberg wants us to. In fact, if you do post on someone’s timeline, you are hard core judged by everyone else who sees it. We all have iMessage–the greatest invention since whole wheat sliced bread–and if you really wanted to speak to someone quickly and efficiently, you would text her. Nothing pisses people off more than siblings or best friends who write to each other publicly on Facebook. Clearly you already have a texting convo going, so whatever you’re writing you clearly are just writing for the sake of publicity.

We have driven Facebook off it’s given beat and path. We mock those that use it for it’s original intention. So if you aren’t stalking someone, are you doing it wrong?

In theory, Facebook stalking makes sense. We’re drawn to seeing photos of other people–especially, of course, people we know. Pictures have always intrigued us. I obviously would not have liked Madeline nearly as much if she wasn’t wearing such a cute jumper all of the time. But when we look at photos of other people on Facebook, it’s in almost no context at all. There aren’t really words to this picture book. It’s just… well… pictures.

Everyone has a few people that they focus their energy into stalking, habitually typing a name into the search box. Then there are the people you forget about until they pop up on your news feed because they were tagged in your best camp friend’s best home friend’s photo. Come Sunday mornings, we sit on the edges of our seats, anxiously awaiting the mass mupload like it’s the fricking messiah.

However, we find ourselves in knee-deep contradiction. When those whom we do not desire the stalking rights to post solo shots of themselves or even a 50-photo collection of the previous weekend’s events, we give them shit. We get annoyed. We want some to use Facebook as a canvas, and we want others to sit quietly behind a screen (as some of us stalkers might) and join in the could-be thoughts of pretty, skinny girls sipping on cranberry colored cocktails.

So when you stalk someone, are you truly engaged in learning more about her? Are we just jealous of the identities these people have created for themselves on intangible social media? Are we so unsettled in our own lives that we yearn to live vicariously through other people (no matter how many hours we spend looking through the same album of muploads repeatedly)?

Facebook makes it so damn easy for people to judge you. But don’t you want to be stalked, and not a stalk-er? Don’t you want to be judged?

They say that any publicity is good publicity. In a world of being “Facebook famous,” I guess so.


Flavor of the Week: 2013

Good bye fro-yo, good bye 2013.

Good bye fro-yo, good bye 2013.

Congratulations! You survived your hangover. How does it feel? Rewarding, I bet.

2013 is officially over and we are no longer in that awkward limbo state between Christmas and New Year’s known as “the holidays.” During “the holidays,” everyone talks about everything that’s happened over the past year as if the year has already ended. In reality, the next year hasn’t started yet, either. Our society sets aside a week for us to reminisce and resolute and think about the reasons why we hate ourselves and how we can strive to change in the year to come. The holidays are a strange concept–everyone kind of stops doing everything and doesn’t start real life until the next year gets here. It’s a week that, though it sits on the calendar, doesn’t actually exist.

Now that we are in a new year, I thought it would be appropriate to accurately and fully asses the year that’s passed us by–FYD style, of course. 95 (!!!) posts later and I think I’ve got a pretty good sense of what 2013 was about. Here’s the shortlist of what you really shoulda taken out of that wild year. As the Grateful Dead says, “Oh, what a long, strange trip it’s been.”

1. Your Facebook pro pic says a LOT about you. And by a lot, I mean 4,926 post views in twelve hours-a lot. 

2. The selfie had a revolution. It was the thing of the year, by far.

3. 2013 brought us Thanksgivukkah–a chubby JAP’s dream come true!

4. Every. One. Got. Mono.

5. Kimye is everything.

6. FYD lesson: the balance between being a bitch/playing hard to get and being a slut is very, very difficult to find.

7. Celebrate the anniversary of your Bat Mitzvah by handing out the leftover kippahs you’ve been storing, because there is always a bald man somewhere in need of a hat!

8. Tobi.com took over young women’s “trendy”/mundane going out clothing.

9. Everyone used read receipts. Then, they didn’t.

10. Miley came in like a wrecking ball.

11. We acted like chopped salad was just born, even though it wasn’t. Overpriced chopped salad was born, transforming the dirty water dog-type lunch into one better suited to the women taking over the workforce.

12. FYD lesson: your relationship with your boyfriend is really a threesome between you, him, and Facebook.

13. Everyone wrote about kale, but I wrote about it first. Trust.

14. Cady Heron would not have survived a plastics’ group text. That is why being a girl nowadays is so frickin’ difficult.

15. We speak emoji.

16. FYD lesson: there is a time to laugh, and a time to cry. There is a time to Instagram, and a time to mupload.

17. We were labeled the “me me me generation.” But millennials rock. We’re going places, and they can’t stop us and our selfies.

18. I read Fifty Shades of Grey while living in a rural Eurasian town of conservative Muslims. You might not remember that, but it’ll make you laugh.

19. I wrote my first post, “On Not Being a JAP,” for The FYD. But, obviously, there’s a little JAP in all of us.

20. A lot of other stuff happened that I didn’t get to cover. Gay marriage! Legal weed! Love! Loss! Sex! (GASP!) Breaking Bad! But, obviously, we still have 2014 for all of that.

Cheers to another fro-yo filled year of all of the above. May it bring you all overalls, muploads, selfies, shoe sales, peace, and low fat goodness.

 


Flavor of the Week: An FYD Christmas List

(elF)YD

ELF-YD

Dear Santa,

I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering why a nice Jewish girl like me would be writing to you, asking for gifts on a holiday that doesn’t even belong to the chosen people. Well, Santa, it turns out I had a rough year. It was also a great year–don’t get me wrong–but I would venture to say there were times where I, usually a hard headed independent woman that don’t need no man, boarded the struggle bus. I think I deserve a present or two. On that note, I want to introduce to you the Jewish concept of mitzvah–a worthy deed. You would really be doing a mitzvah by helping your marginalized friend (a.k.a. me) out. If I were you getting me a gift, here’s what I would just hypothetically get for myself. If you were my boyfriend or my family member or a good friend getting me a present for the holidays, still totally in theory, Santa, I would also recommend anything on this list. Santa, I think this will be a great role playing game for you. I feel like you’re really going to get to know me.

  • Tickets to the Beyoncé concert at Barclay’s, either of the nights. (I’m not very picky, Santa. But I would prefer GA seats, if you were wondering.)
  • A tobi.com gift card! JK LOL, do not get me this. Seriously, don’t.
  • But feel free to get me a Free People one.
  • An iTunes gift card, because I’m poor and like music.
  • Some makeup, because I’m really ugly and need it. Pity me.
  • An unlimited supply of zero calorie fruity drinks, preferably carbonated ones.
  • A new iPhone. Mine is literally degenerated (the selfie camera is really bad quality).
  • This phone case. Make sure you get the size that fits my new iPhone (mentioned above).

  • A new Facebook profile pic. Mine is getting really old. Can we arrange an artsy photo shoot with the Nikon you got for your Bar Mitzvah? Oh, shit… I forgot you didn’t… um… sorry, Santa.
  • A book deal.
  • The opportunity to babysit Nori West.

Merry Christmas! (Or, as one of my favorite TV characters, Schmidt from New Girl, likes to call it, “White Anglo Saxon Winter Privilege Night.”)

Love, your biggest non-gentile fan,
Hannah

p.s. Here’s one more for the road:

elfyd2


On What Guys Really Think About What We Really Think

For the past year, I’ve been trying to learn through The FYD. I want to bring up things we accept as normal into question. I wonder why we, as millennials, do the things we do. But eventually, I’ve come to realize and accept that I can write for a thousand years and still never completely understand one thing: the mind of a guy. Tons of magazines, websites, and publications with a female-targeted audience have columns written by men to try and help women figure out what really goes on behind the six packs, the sideburns, and the sex. However, I still feel like “Jared, a college student from Florida!” or “Brian, in his second year of law school!” just aren’t doing it for me. I don’t know Jared, I don’t know Brian, and what both of them (along with the hundreds of other guys who write for girls) state in their pieces is typically predictable. 

Enter a new flavor of The Fro-Yo Diairies: “Douche de Leche,” a segment featuring pieces for girls to gape at and guys to laugh at written by some of my closest male friends, almost completely uncensored. I’m not telling them what to say (though I will edit for grammatical errors, obviously I’m too type-A to let that slide) and I’m not telling them how to say it. 

douche de leche

Now, I present to you, the first installment of Douche de Leche… enjoy. 

Women always think men have these “thoughts” about them. But when I take a step back, the first thing I think about women is the ridiculousness of what they think I’m thinking. Here’s a list of things I find hilarious about women and their most common misconceptions:

1. GIRLS & THEIR HAIR When girls think guys care about their hair. I’m twisted already, do you really think I’m gonna give a shit if your hair is in front of your shoulders or behind? Just don’t shave that shit and it’s all good.

2. GIRLS & DANCING When a girl thinks a guy thinks it’s all good if she doesn’t know how to dance. Guys rage with their homies and raging is fun. But then when I’m dancing, I’m trying to get with you, and it’s just a huge bust if you can’t dance. A shitty dancer and a rager is probably the worst recipe known to mankind.

3. GIRLS BEING FUNNY Girls think that they need to be hilarious for guys to want to be around them. You know, I’d love a funny girl, but you know what I hate? A not funny girl who tries to be funny. If a girl cracks a joke and it’s hilarious, then they probably are amazing. On the other hand, if she makes the joke in the center of a circle that was expecting a funny joke, all she did was let me down. My night is practically ruined. If she didn’t pay for my cab home, I’d take a dump on her doorstep.

4. GIRLS PLAYING HARD TO GET Girls always seem to run into this debate of whether they should play hard to get, or be just be slutty and get the deed done. On a serious note, life is going to put you in your place, so just be yourself. You’re going to find someone who, whatever you’re doing, can’t help but come over to you. To all the ladies that don’t think they will: just be patient. There are so many late night snacks made just for you to substitute for a shitty night. Sooner or later you’ll hit the jackpot, and if you don’t, just move out of the country. They have places like Kyrgyzstan for that.

5. GIRLS EATING Girls always seem to stuff their faces either when they’re tripping balls or they’re in a comfortable sober state. Whatever it is, food goes down your throat and to your stomach (and elsewhere). It’s not too visible to us if you overdose on dinner, but it’s definitely enough for you to feel it and then start getting self-conscious. Self-consciousness is like bacon–you smell it from all the way upstairs. Except self-consciousness is like a pure, fatty, nasty ass piece of bacon I’d never eat. Before you go out, either start feeling good about yourself (because you probably look great), or don’t go out at all if it’ll only make you feel worse.

6. GIRLS & FACEBOOK Girls and Facebook, holy mother****** shit. If there was one thing that really couldn’t matter in this world, its whether you give the kiss face or the other face that definitely doesn’t have a name. Look, if you want to know the truth, the profile pictures are where we’re looking. If guys wanna show someone this hot girl, they don’t say, “Dude, let me show you the 3,000,000 pictures this girl is tagged in.” Instead, it’s more like, “Let me see the most beautiful pictures she has,” which are usually the profile pictures. So ladies, just relax. Your night isn’t over if you take one picture where it looks like you just got punched in the face. It’s all good, don’t worry. Seriously, it’s all good.

Afterward: The author of this piece was very excited to be featured on The FYD and wanted me to share this–I love you all, everybody that reads this, I can’t explain over the internet, but just know that I really do love you all. In other news, guys are insane


On What Your Profile Picture Says About You

As an avid reader from an early age, I was always told to “never judge a book by its cover.” Years and years have passed, and we’ve gone from judging books by their covers to judging girls on their cover photos. The importance of an AIM icon has transposed itself to the importance of a Facebook profile picture. And if “a picture says 1,000 words” then we’ve all got books as long as the bible to read… the 3,564 photos you have tagged of yourself in a story 3,564,000 words long. I was once told in conversation with a professional writer that you do not become a writer until you’ve written 1,000,000 words. I guess we’re all writers now… three times through, anyway.

What I’m trying to get at is that your prof pic says a lot about you. And if you think that this statement is disputable, go ask your best home friend’s camp friend’s best college friend’s camp friend how she knows what you look like. I dare you.

Here’s who you are as defined by your pro pic. Yes, I am stereotyping you.

The solo shot. The solo shot is either something you do or something you don’t. A girl that sets a solo shot as her prof generally feels really comfortable doing so. If you’re a solo shot girl, you’re confident. Potentially a leader more than a follower. The real question here is: how did this you get that solo shot? Why would someone be taking a photo of just you, alone? Two potential answers: you asked your friend to take this solo shot, or your friend has a lesbian crush on you. Either way, really.

The tailgate. You’re decked out in Big 10 apparel, sipping on your cup of beer or, if you’re a true betch, holding your ominous liquid in a Vitamin Water Zero bottle. If you’re on a roof, you’re a party animal. If you’re not, you’re still just a fun gal looking to have a good time. Also, you go to a Big 10 school. And you go to a Big 10 school. Did I mention that you go to a Big 10 school?

Couldn't help but not blur out the face tats

Couldn’t help but not blur out the face tats

The boyfriend. You’re in a serious relationship, and your boyfriend is hot. If it wasn’t or if he weren’t, it wouldn’t be worth sharing your Facebook identify with him. If you have a serious boyfriend and you’re pro pic isn’t one of the two of you, then do you really have a serious boyfriend at all?

One from my own personal collection

One from my own personal collection

The camp. You’re a nice Jewish girl, and that’s about it. Just kidding. There are two varieties of campy pro pics: 310213_2479434102606_1614303645_n

         -With little girls/your bunk. You’re super maternal and caring. You love getting down in the dirt and caring for “your girls.” Watching a guy play with a baby is like Facebook stalking a girl whose profile picture is one of her with her little campers. You must be cute and lovable. Oh, you must.

         -With friends. You’re wearing your Nike running shorts and white Hanes v-neck like a boss. Oh, wait, were you color war captain? You were a GENERAL!!!!???? No way!!!!!! You must be the SHIT!!!!

The party pic. You’re always looking your best in these because you spend at least half an hour working on the shading of your eyeshadow. You’re pretty and you like to have a good time. You’re also capable of keeping your shit together on a Saturday night, which is respectable for sure… especially because it seems like most of us can’t accomplish that, nowadays.

The birthday bitch. You’re not just a birthday bitch, you’re the birthday bitch. For some reason, girls always look great blowing out candles, staring at a birthday cake, or wearing a sash or a tiara. It comes naturally to us to be viewed as royalty.

My current pro pic... kk

My current pro pic… kk

The Halloween. Halloween is the only time that a girl can get away with making her pro pic equal to a porn photo shoot. You clearly want us to see your bod, and you know that this is the only socially legal way to do so. Maybe you’re not this type–maybe your costume was just really creative. In that case, mazels. Try art school.

The broad-goes-abroad. You’re so cultured and well-traveled. You love to take adventures and also pose with a bunch of locks or maybe some giant letters. Because, hey, who doesn’t?!?!?!?!

The TWC (Third World Country). You’re a Cady Heron wannabe who is trying to balance the “pretty but down to earth” thing. Also, you’re trying to save the world… one Instragram filter at a time.

The “I’m eating at a cute cafe/restaurant outdoors on a sunny day”. Your life is simple, beautiful, and full of wonder and smiles. You also like to pretend that you’re a living, breathing fashion ad. The photo cries: “Take me out to lunch! I’m beautiful!” (I love this one. It’s chic as hell.)

The Bitchy Beachy Babe. See “The Halloween.”

The seflie. If you make a reference to the fact that your pro pic is a selfie in the caption, then you rock at life in an ironic way. If the photo reminds me of my days as a sixth grader on MySpace, then you need to wear less eyeliner.

Special shout out to all of my babes who let me Facebook-stalk them to the death to find the perfect pro pics. 


On PDA

I used to be terrified of a few things: vomit, roller coasters, and PDA. This is something that most girls have in common. My fears were not of miscellaneous fruits or animals; they were reasonable. But with the passing of time, I don’t know if my fears would stand as “acceptable.” Yes, girls are probably still shuddering at the sight of bodily fluids. Some, like me, will never be too fond of adventure parks, either. PDA is a different story. The girls today don’t give two shits, and I’ll tell you why.

First, let me give some backstory. My freshman year of high school brought a lot of new and exciting changes. My boobs kept growing even after I thought they had stopped, and I was finally getting back into my normal routine of having a panic attack a day. It was really great. It was also the year that I would be start going to school with my first “real” boyfriend. Going to school with your boyfriend for the first time is like having a co-ed sleepover party in the first grade. It isn’t like anything is going to actually happen out of the ordinary, but because you’re in the same vicinity your mind plays a dirty little trick on you that it will. Every day had the opportunity for something amazing and wonderful to happen because I was “young” and “in love” and I was also, like, fourteen.

For him, there was no secret fantasy hiding in the janitor’s closet or the handicap stall of the second floor girl’s bathroom. It was much simpler than that–we were in school together, so when he saw me in the hallway, or when he walked me to class, he was going to hold my hand.

Hence, World War III commenced.

For some reason, I was OK with wishing that one day my boyfriend would get the school marching band to surprise me with a rendition of Weezer’s “Island in the Sun,” but I was not OK with any public displays of affection (for newbies out there, public display of affection = PDA). It wasn’t even that I was embarrassed to have a boyfriend. I was far from embarrassed. I felt like the luckiest girl in the whole school. For a reason I am still not totally aware of, I was terrified of any touching, hugging, kissing, groping, lap-sitting, etc. etc. in front of anyone else.

So much love <3333 like endlessly

The two of us would get into bitter arguments over PDA. Why was it such a big deal for me to hold his hand? Why couldn’t we hug before class? Not even a kiss on the cheek? My defense was simple: no one needed to see it. I was always very prude and in the stubbornest of ways. I had heard so many people go off about how disgusting it is to see couples being mushy in the halls. I had even been blockaded from my locker many a time (a common occurrence at my high school) by couples going at it up against the wall.

My literal fear of PDA got so bad that my mom eventually had to say something to me about it. “You’re so cold towards [insert ex’s name here haha lol]. Why don’t you just be a little warmer? One day you’re gonna push him so far away that he’s not going to come back.” Since Mama always knows best, especially when she’s Jewish Yenta Mama, I took her advice to the best of my ability. Slowly, I eased by way into the nauseating hand-holding and the awkward-feeling-but-looks-cute arm around the waist. “See?” I would say to my boyfriend. “Look how good I’m doing!” You’d think I was going through psychotherapy (not to say I wasn’t, anyway) or that maybe he was teaching me how to ride a bicycle (not that he didn’t, either) by the way we would speak about it.

But enough about me. Let’s talk about the biddies in their prime–they can still eat whatever they want, they can still solely rely on Mommy and Daddy’s ca$h flow, they’re still naive enough to believe that a quadruple date with four senior guys isn’t just a quadruple booty call–and how these days, they are lovin’ themselves some PDA. Let me go back to where I started. Why do they love PDA? Obviously, I’m going to blame this on social media. Haha duh.

When I was a freshman in high school, I had a Facebook. But social media was not nearly as much of a “thing” then as it was now. My freshman year was when people learned how to put photos onto Facebook from their Blackberries (freshman now don’t even know what a Blackberry is) that were filtered into an album automatically titled “Mobile Uploads.” And just like that, my fave vocab word of all time–mupload, obv–was born into creation.

Now, there is no way to put photos on Facebook aside from through your iPhone… or at least that’s how we make it look. Facebook and its critical importance in the everyday life of a teenaged girl has built up PDA to become a normal thing. Everyone sees everything you do because there’s a mupload of you doing it already on Facebook. I’ve seen you hooking up, I’ve seen you grinding, I’ve seen you holding each other’s hair back, and I’ve seen you sitting on the toilet. So, you might as well go ahead and hold hands in the hallways. You might as well.

The weirdest thing is this: after a few years of high school, I started feeling a compulsion to chronicle my relationships on Facebook. Simultaneously, I found myself feeling more and more comfortable with a quick kiss or a hand-hold. Just some food for thought…

On the bright side of things, in case you were wondering, I’m totally over my phobia of PDA. Vomit… not so much.


Flavor of the Week: TOBI

I can’t even say the word “Tobi” without loling. Seriously.

I felt that it was time to write an ode to Tobi, our beloved online shopping friend. Old wealthy men indulge themselves in Russian mail-order brides. Every college girl indulges herself in mail-order Tobi. It’s just the way it is.

Tobi is odd because it doesn’t exist in real life. It’s like some warehouse in California where all of your wildest 50% off dreams come true. At first, Tobi attacked the newsfeeds of girls around the country. I would use the term “rape,” because if you remember what I’m talking about, it was literally that bad. However my (extremely) liberal arts college really doesn’t approve of using that term lightly so I took it out of my vocabulary. Whoever is the chief over there is actually a genius, and uses an incredible marketing strategy. In order to get the ridiculously huge discount on already fairly-priced clothing, you have to link Tobi to your Facebook. Great for you, Tobi, but shitty for us.

Evidence from my newsfeed

Evidence from my newsfeed, ignore my trendy black & white pro pic 😉

From then on, Tobi is attached to you by something seemingly as strong as an umbilical cord. Every time you “like” something on Tobi from that moment on, or any time you put something in your cart, essentially all of Facebook will automatically see it. It’s really awkward. Like, no, I don’t want to know what you’re shopping for and yeah, it’ll be a little weird when I see you wearing that out the next weekend.

Tobi sends you daily emails which I have not attempted to unsubscribe from because I’m automatically assuming that there is no physical way to unsubscribe, no matter how hard I try. Tobi is clingy as f—. Let me guess–today, you got an email with the subject line, “50 new items today – 30% off the first 7 days for you!” And let me also guess–you get that email on the effing daily.

The funniest thing is when you see someone wearing something and it’s clearly from Tobi. This is easily recognized as Tobi thinks that it’s OK to make a million different articles of clothing that all look exactly the same but are in different forms (dress version and shirt version… and tank top version) and colors. The site doesn’t even have an “If you like this, you might also like…” function because everything looks exactly the same so that wouldn’t even be helpful.

Once, I was visiting a “friend” at an anonymous Big Ten school, and we were going out for the night. While walking outside, we encountered four girls emerging from a freshman dorm. I pointed at each of them, “That’s from Tobi, that’s from Tobi, that’s from Tobi, and that’s from Tobi.” They were all wearing the same thing in different colors, and it was the most ridiculous thing ever.

That same night, I also happened to be wearing Tobi. I was wearing the long-sleeved version of the exact same shirt that they were wearing, obv:

Tobi 5

Now do you know the shirt that I’m referring to? Of course you do.

Tobi 2

Tobi is really great at being Facebook responsive. Once, my camp friend had an entire convo with them. I stood as a witness to that.

Tobi really loves smilies. They are, like, VERY friendly.

Tobi 4

Tobi getting great client responses

Tobi, we love you for being convenient. We also hate you for being both unoriginal and a pain in the ass. You’re great for staple tops, I suppose. Hmph.