By now, if you spend any time on the ever-growing, global domination force that is Facebook, you’ve probably noticed the “Friend Pages.” If you look under a friend’s profile picture, there should be an option that says “View You and [friend’s name].” Click to find out what I’m talking about. There is also now a link that says “View Friendship” on each wall post between you and a friend, instead of the “See Wall-to-Wall” that the comments feature had all but made obsolete, which will also take you to this page.

Clicking on the option will let you see wall posts between yourself and your friend, photos that you’ve both been tagged in, mutual friends, events you’ve both attended (regardless of how long ago they were) and pages you both like.

According to a Facebook blog post by Wayne Kao, the company’s software engineer who developed the pages, the addition is designed to “bring back memories, conversations and times spent together.” In fact, Kao wrote that he was inspired to create the pages after he found himself browsing photos from friends right after they started a relationship or had gotten engaged (I find this slightly creepy, but whatever).

At first glance, the only real problem I had with the friendship pages is that they were essentially objectifying the relationships I had with other people, boiling them down to wall posts and common interests. According to Facebook, for example, one of my oldest friendships comes down to something entirely unimpressive – a handful of pictures, a wall post or two, and some events that we, along with countless others, both attended, none of which accurately represent the actual, real-life relationship I have with my friend.

If that was the extent of these pages, I would be OK with that. But it’s not. Further inspection makes it clear that these Friendship pages will bring Facebook stalking to an entirely new level. Why? In addition to simply viewing your individual friendships, you can also view the friendship between any of your friends.

Are you wondering if your boyfriend had a thing with that old friend of yours and just never actually did anything about it? Congratulations, you can now go back and examine every single wall post, comment and photo between them and determine it yourself. Think your roommates might be talking about you by posting “inside jokes” on each other’s wall? Now you can read all of these posts back-to-back and find the answer – and while you’re there, “Hey! They didn’t tell you they were going to that house party together!”

While the potential for conflict spurred by these pages is huge, with wall posts and comments taken out of context for public view, I think their addition to Facebook is especially odd for another reason: Do we REALLY need to know that much about our friends? By looking at the friendship between two friends, especially if those friends are also mutual friends, what do we really end up gaining?

It’s unlikely that the friendship picture Facebook gives you is an accurate representation of the relationship shared between the two individuals anyway. As I tried out the future, stalking the friendships between my friends, I couldn’t help but feel I was invading their privacy as well. After all, that wall post that’s showing up from 2008 wasn’t really meant for me, and it’s unlikely either party thought it would come back into view nearly two years later.

It’s undeniable that Facebook is increasingly becoming an integral part of day-to-day life for huge portions of society. While I think the majority of the updates and changes made to the site are aimed at making socializing easier, Friendship Pages turn up the stalker factor on the site just a little too high.

Rachel Vesco is a senior majoring in journalism, political science and Facebook stalking. For future column ideas, send her an e-mail to [email protected] (or find her on Facebook).