Stealth Socialization

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The opposite of social networking - one seeks to view content without leaving a social trail or engaging in social interaction.

Antisocial networking undermines the feedback loop of information by not leaving an information trail that other parties can view, and is in this sense a "shadow socialization". Sometimes this dynamic can be ideal, such as Facebook's system that does not allow users to see who has been visiting their site. This encourages a type of social voyeurism where users can anonymously view other profiles, in comparison with Okcupid's interface of allowing users to see who has been viewing their profile. Perhaps suggesting high demand for social voyeurism, Okcupid has recently provided an account upgrade where, for a small monthly fee, users are able to view other profiles anonymously, and can then selectively inform other users if they have viewed their profile).[1]

Shadow networking has its uses for encouraging social interaction, as Facebook has made abundantly clear, but should be used as a means to encourage active and overtly social networking.

As David Dahl wrote, "I'd rather my correspondence with my friends and family not be sliced and diced and sold - and kept as a public (or private) record".[2] The preference for social networking without

The Facebook Disconnect plugin for the Chrome browser by Brian Kennish[3] is an example of a plugin that stops Facebook from tracking the webpages users go to.


  1. OkCupid A-List Extras.
  2. Dahl, David. antisocial networking. Published April 10, 2009. Accessed 10 Apr 2011.
  3. Kennish, Brian. Disconnected plugin for Chrome. Accessed July 2011.