Last night my roommates were comparing notes on guys they’d met Blues dancing with me and things… well… We’ll say things got a wee bit out of hand.
Now, I will freely admit, I am the resident internet stalker. I have found every form of social media on a man just knowing what he looked like, and where he was one night. No name. Just a face and a temporary location.
When I was on Exec board for my sorority in college and girls were potentially cyber bullying someone for calling them on breaking House Rules, I was the one called in to hunt down ambiguously-named Twitter accounts and screen cap evidence for Judicial Board hearings. I had a list of a dozen girls found in under 2o minutes. Personal best.
That being said, I thought this was a specialized skill and that I’d been getting better at it over the years.
Now I’m thinking I haven’t been so much honing my skills over the years, as the internet is just making it increasingly, horrifyingly, easy to find all sorts of information about people you barely know. Cue my hiding in the bathtub and never emerging.
Last night, my roommate found the LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Myspace of the guy she was internet stalking. Now, that’s pretty standard stuff, I’m sure. It’s social media, after all, LinkedIn is for workplace networking and head hunting. Easy to find. Easy to access.
She also found street photos of his home address, a school-based interview with him from when he was five, an obituary for his grandfather, and his dad’s cell phone number.
She wasn’t the only one stalking people last night.
I found some old high school info on a guy. Where he works. Various places he frequents. From the info I found on some old local articles I was able to calculate his age.
We were giddy with power, fingers flying over the keys, shouting out each new sliver of truth we discerned on these poor helpless fellows who have no way of knowing the bubbling kettle of madness they’ve landed themselves in.
At one point, giggling, Dee piped up, “But wait! Wait! You guys! When you see them again, you’re going to have to pretend you don’t know any of this!”
“Old hat.” I responded. Kay shrugged it off as well.
This is normal to us.
You see a guy. He’s cute. You talk to him, he’s nice. You go home and find every last speck of information the internet has to offer on him, make up your mind who he is, then strategically draw the information you already have out of him the next time you see him. It looks like a great conversation from his end, and is really an enormous track-covering sham.
THAT’S how we start relationships.
I justify this by saying I’d like to know if a potential flame was a child-murderer BEFORE I waste my time enticing him over. But if we’re being honest, I’ve stalked the absolute pants off of every last one of my exes and nowhere did it say they were psycho-abusers, stalkers, drunks, or goldfish perverts (don’t ask). So clearly this method is flawed.
WHY do I do it then?
WHY does every girl I know do it?
What is so wrong with just finding my chill, waiting until I see him (I CANNOT keep calling him ‘Senpai’) on Saturday and talking to him. I could even add him on Facebook. We have a mutual friend and he’s listed as “Going” in the event page for the dance we met at. Normal info, a normal person would have access to and be able to act upon.
This is exactly what is wrong with dating.
For all the vast stretches of information available to us through technology these days, it seems only to make it harder to be up front and real with each other.
We would rather infinite scroll through someone’s Instagram and read an article on their Elementary school than spend time WITH the other person deciding whether we like them.
But much as I want to stop, I’m not sure I can.
A big part of this (for me at least) is fear.
I’ve fallen into “checking up” on guys I date through social media.
Nothing good has ever come from it. I found I was being cheated on this way. Twice. I found a guy I was dating still lived with his ex girlfriend and that they did everything together when he wasn’t with me. Nothing. Good.
So now I START each potential relationship off finding every way I can stalk him if we DO have a relationship. I start things off suspicious. Where is the room for trust to grow? I am ruining my own chances.
I’m also protecting myself.
This is the problem. It’s not clean cut and I don’t know the answer.
This, like every other part of my love life is messy and tangled and I probably have no business alining anyone else with my bullsh*t.
But if someone wants to put up with it, I won’t say no.
Because while I am super messed up in a LOT of ways, I know I’m also kind of special as well. I know I’m a great cook, a passionate lover, and kind of funny in a warped way. I have excellent taste in music, a good singing voice, and I’m not exactly bad looking.
I think that’s how it goes for most girls.
But probably if you were as interested in us as we were in you, you’d figure out we’re kind of special and we more than make up for it in other ways.
We’re freaking unicorns is what I’m saying.
Unicorns with wifi.