Spotify stalking: Everything I never wanted to know about my Facebook friends' taste in music

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There are many, many good reasons to fall in love with Spotify. It’s user-friendly; it lets me share music on Facebook; it’s got that sleek, sexy lime-green-and-black getup that looks like iTunes in a little black dress.

But here’s the number-one reason I’ve become obsessed with this European social-media-meets-digital-music phenomenon ever since it landed in the US: It gives me access to the published Spotify playlists of my Facebook friends. All my friends’ music collections and listening habits are just waiting there, nakedly exposed in the public domain—and that can only mean one thing.

Yep. Bam: Spotify stalking. It’s like Facebook stalking—except more revealing, more voyeuristic, and so much more addictive. For the first time in internet history, we can check out pics of our childhood best friend’s beach honeymoon and nose around on her iTunes catalog for the other nine finalists that didn’t make the cut as her first-dance song. What’s not to love?!

My first foray into Spotify stalking was something of a pop-music epiphany. It turns out all those playlists we thought were so original and personalized are surprisingly universal—which led me to wonder, As a human race, how can we go to bed angry with one another when we’re all falling asleep to Bon Iver?

How can I wish misfortune on the robotic workout Barbie next to me at the gym when she, too, is pumping herself up with “Lose Yourself” from 8 Mile? And most importantly, what is it about Rihanna’s “Skin” that makes it such a must-have for everyone’s satin-sheets-and-candlelight playlist? (Yep. I looked, so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.)

As with all things trendy and Swedish, addiction soon ensued. Suddenly, Spotify stalking was revealing depths and unexpected quirks I wouldn’t have uncovered just by perusing Facebook. All those routine Facebook stalkees—friends, ex-boyfriends, impossibly beautiful people I just want to find double-chin pictures of—got even more interesting once they were on Spotify.

For instance, my friend Natalie is a tireless crusader for gender equality, and she often laments the exploitation of female sexuality in pop music. Still, her sense of humor is on dazzling display on Spotify: She has a knockout party playlist called “Are You Drunk Enough For The Pussycat Dolls?” Meanwhile, that cool, effortlessly stylish blonde I envy from afar became altogether more accessible once I’d looked through her Spotify library—turns out Cool Stylish Blonde has a formidable soft spot for They Might Be Giants.

And Spotify ex stalkage? Infinitely more satisfying than Facebook. Turns out that one guy from my past routinely jams to the breathy, ego-stroking whimper of Britney Spears’ “Womanizer” while he runs on the treadmill; I probably could have predicted that. Another guy I dated has a full playlist of his favorites from Kidz Bop—I’m sort of glad I didn’t predict that.

And it was a pleasantly sweet surprise to discover that my ex-boyfriend from high school still has all the mixtapes I lovingly compiled for him while we were dating (Jack Johnson and all), all neatly folded into a charming “high school memories” playlist.

Tell us, Music Mix—what’s the best, worst, or strangest thing you’ve unearthed while snooping through your friends’ music libraries?

More on EW.com:
When bad relationships ruin great music — has it happened to you, too?
Sinead O’Connor posts personal ad on her own website: ‘Am in desperate need of a very sweet sex-starved man.’ See her demands!
Rihanna drinks to the freakin’ weekend in ‘Cheers’ video: Watch it here

Comments (19 total) Add your comment
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  • Elle

    Whenever I go through anyone’s music library and they have country music beyond Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood I’m surprised. And not because I’m a pompous country music fan (you know, the type that says country isn’t country anymore) They could have Faith Hill or LeAnn Rimes or Keith Urban or Kenny Chesney on there and I’d still be impressed…

    • Trendy and Swedish

      NEEDS MOAR OPETH

    • LOL

      Cash is country. The crap you mentioned is crap.

  • Except you could have been doing this for half a decade already with Last FM

    last fm rules

  • Chris

    Am I the only person that doesnt get Spotify? I’ve had it for over a month now and used it for about an hour when I first got it. I dont get it at all…and is it really that user friendly? I find it confusing and not fun…someone please help…is there a tutorial video somewhere?

  • allie

    there’s too many apps!

  • Sue1

    I have the free version, I just tolerate the ads. I found it pretty easy to navigate, and I would never “Connect to Facebook”, my music, is my own business, unless I choose otherwise.

  • Tyler The Creator

    I think that if I were to Spotify stalk the writer of this article I’d find they had narrow and horrendous taste in music.

    • Sean

      Golf wang

  • jasmine

    i havent connected my spotify to facebook because of people like you stalking me through my music lol :P

  • Alice

    I am a 30 years old ballet teacher,sexy and lonely,now I am seeking a nice man who can give me true love,so I got a username nanafoler432 on—Meetrich.C óM——-it’s the most effective site in the world to connect with, date and marry successful, beautiful people.Meanwhile,it’s worthy a try.The best part is that it’s completely free, unlike all the other paid dating sites.You do not have to be rich or famous!

  • Mindy

    And this is why I don’t use Spotify OR Facebook. People’s willingness to share personal details about themselves on the internet really baffles me.

    • Sour Monkey

      I agree

    • Trent

      Amen, Mindy. Can’t anything be private any more?

  • cindella204

    Yeah…no. If I feel the need to share what I’m listening to, I’ll tweet with the hash tag #NowPlaying and @Mention the artist. Sometimes I’ll add a YouTube link if I really feel the need to promote the song. Otherwise, I’m good.

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