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A Playground Called Romance: "Hello My Name Is ...... And I'm a Stalker"

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Internet niches like Facebook and Myspace have made us professional stalkers.

stalker |ˈstôkər|
noun
a person who stealthily hunts or pursues an animal or another person.


A Scenario To Begin With: I stumble out of the bar looking back at the new cute schmuck who I so willingly exchanged digits with. He points at me and sloppily mutters, "Imma faccceboook you!"

How romantic. If all went as planned in this scenario of mine, then he probably Facebook’ed me and in turn I Facebook’ed him. After, we moved on to 'poking,' perhaps. I looked at his Info page and find out his Birthday, Religion, and whether he really was a schmuck way before we went on our first date (if in fact we went on a date at all). The cute schmuck also discovered what kind of person I am by my Profile Wall and scrolling through my Albums. That, my friends, is how we get to know each other 'these days.'

If I know your last name, the school you graduated from, your favorite band, place of work, or any other personal fact...I can have access to everything from those New Years '05 photos you thought no one would ever see, to your drunken quote from last Thursday's Happy Hour. And vice versa.

The fact is, internet niches like Facebook, Myspace, and even that great detective called Google Search have made us professional stalkers. These sites give you the ability to stalk without actually labeling yourself as a 'stalker.' Granted there are a few out there who have refrained from joining the universe of internet stalking but most likely they've dropped like flies and created a username by now.

There are pros and cons to this system of at-home background checking. On the pro side, you can reunite and keep in touch with old friends. If you're having a large party you can dance around handwritten invitations and licking one too many envelopes by simply creating an Event and clicking those invites away.

On the other hand it rings truth to the saying, "That was far too much information." Having access to your Ex's Relationship Status may not be the best thing for the healing process. Many people I know, including myself (I'll admit it, why not?) have wasted more than enough time Untagging and Tagging photos of the Ex. Does it scare you that I can know who your past, present, and future lovers are? These sites inform us beyond belief.

A Story: I went to lunch with a friend of mine. Before I could say anything he took my hand and with a sympathetic expression asked me, "Are you okay honey?" I responded, "Yeah, why wouldn't I be?" Still holding my hand across the table he says, "Well I saw on Facebook that you went from being 'in a relationship' to 'single.'"

Oh right, I forgot that I made the choice of allowing my Facebook community to know all about my love life. My bad. There was no need to tell any of my friends about yet another relationship of mine terminated because the Facebook Feed did the job for me. I rest my case.

There was most definitely a time before Facebook and all of those internet communities...when we got to know someone by sitting across the table from them, when secrets were kept secret, and when our personalities were not summed up on a Wall Page.

But desperate times call for desperate measures: Create your username today. Facebook your life. Come on, everyone's doing it. So stalk on.


(No schmucks were harmed in the making of this article)

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