Day 8: On stalking people online

So I sit on this chair, laptop on my lap (duh?), a few people around me watching TV, hooking my ears on headphones, and trying to concentrate on what I’m going to write for Day 8. I take a moment to ponder whether to talk about cyberstalking or not. It’s such a sensitive topic in that it exposes the vulnerable side of the cyberstalker and yet it also breaches the privacy of the person being cyber-stalked. So here’s my two cents.

In case we’re not clear here, I’m talking about cyberstalking in the context of social media and other such related platforms that people voluntarily post their info on–I definitely do not tolerate hacking or the likes in order to get information. That’s just not nice. And illegal, too, in some parts of the world. Anyway…

Curiosity

It all starts with curiosity, right? There’s someone linked to this person who used to or still means something to you. The next-door-neighbor is too mysterious not to Google. Or that person online just talks fabulous and you want to know more about their life. So many reasons, so many questions but the answers are so few. And you’ve got time to spare.

What Happens After

But what happens after you do find out about the person? I think this is the most crucial part of cyberstalking. For a moment, it’s fun and it sets your heartbeat on fire. And after the deed has been done, it just feels nice to know that some people are human. They do things human people do, just like you.

Then what? Do you take it further or stop right where you’ve found your answer?

I think it depends on your motives–to what purpose do you want to find out more about this specific person and to what extent do you want to keep looking? Checking people out, sure, some even do that IRL. But heading to their house planning to confront a person you barely know? That’s just creepy. It all goes back to the stalked person’s privacy. You have the information at your hands but that’s about it. Information is so easy to find these days anyways and people choose what they post, especially on social media. In the end, it’s what you do with the information that matters most.

It’s All About You

If you’re stalking just so you can conclude that the other person is just not as good as you, maybe you’re right but does that make you any better? You don’t need to put down anyone to bring yourself up. You’re already awesome as you are. Sure, people have various qualities that you may not have. You gots to deal with that. Last time I checked, nobody was perfect. I’m not. You’re not. That other person definitely isn’t perfect either.


Gosh, I don’t mean to sound righteous here. I have my own bad side to deal with, too, but somehow I keep trying to remind myself that people are different. We possess some or a combination of qualities that are unique to us. We should celebrate our strengths instead of trying to project to other people our own weaknesses by virtually picking on them from the other side of the Internet. So, cyberstalking? Not recommended. But if you do it, own it. Be better for it and move on. 🙂