Look girl, we’ve all been there. One too many gin and tonics in a can from Marks and Spencers and you find yourself 5 rows deep into the instagram of the husband of the girl you used to take lines with in dingy university toilets. The horror that dawns on you when accidentally like a #throwback photo of the friend’s husband from their childhood, instantly clicking “unlike” scorned with the very real fear that the recipient could have already been notified. Damn you, push notifications. I get it, we can’t help but stalk our ex-boyfriends, ex-best friends, current colleagues, future husbands, and all of their next of kin and friendship circle. Some of us have it worse than others, that aching curiosity that will kill us, or at least our online social presence.
But if you just can’t close that app, turn off your laptop, if your urge to stalk is too great, then at least try to take this advice:
– DON’T scroll past the fifth line of photos on instagram… and whatever you don’t click on it to get a better look. No one wants to be THAT person who’s liked a photo from 132 weeks ago.
– DO have a strong internet connection. Nothing ever good comes from sluggish wifi. Impatience will cause a rogue click that could just mean you “friend requested”
– DON’T friend request for more access. Come on, that’s pretty rookie, even for you.
– DO believe in the six degrees of separation – if everyone in the world is separated by six degrees… then surely there are no boundaries to who to stalk. Your ex boyfriend. Your ex boyfriend’s new girlfriend. Your ex boyfriend’s new girlfriend’s brother. Your ex-girlfriend’s new girlfriend’s brother’s dog. The key is striking a healthy balance, I opt the “little and often” diet of stalking. Every 2 hours stalking a new stranger will usually suffice.
– DO Cross stalk… Don’t limit yourself to one type of social media. You’ve got to find out the whole story and the only way to do that is piece together half truths through a variety of social media..
– DON’T click like. But you did, didn’t you? You only went and clicked like. It’s been noted and there’s no takesies backsies. What now? What if they contact you? You must deny all responsibility or knowledge of the stalking. The great thing about the internet is that you can erase your history, at least from your side. Delete those cookies and if that weird guy you went on a date with once in your second year of university tries to contact you… You know the one who went on to dye his hair purple and wear follow Scientology and you just couldn’t resist having a snoop at his transition over the past five years. Just slowly press delete message… Or soon there you are, two years deep into a Facebook photo album and you’ve made up an elaborate backstory about their life and it’s 3AM and you’ve got a presentation at 8AM in the morning, but that’s OK but this is all very normal behaviour, thanks social media.