Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Stalking is the New Dating... Apparently.

Stalking is the new dating....or so it would seem. A plethora of websites and articles from credible and non-credible sources will tell us that too much social networking and interacting is bad for children. It negatively affects their developing social skills, provides too much personal information about and from our children and usually results in a less social personality. However, what these sources don’t often cite enough, is how much worse it is for potential new relationships and dating. It negatively affects their developing relationships, provides too much personal information about and from a potential new suitor and usually results in lessening chance of love. Sadly, Facebook activity can often make or break a relationship.” That’s silly,” you say? Yes, but still true.

The scenario I am about to summarize happens often enough for all to be familiar with. Actually I am fairly certain, even while on my holiday from bar social activity on the weekends, that this now overly cliché scene plays out every weekend single males and females go out. Girl meets boy in bar. Girl and boy exchange first and LAST names (this is vital, otherwise it makes for a very frustrating Saturday morning ). Girl and boy presumably hit it off and also exchange phone numbers. Girl and boy part ways and immediately run home to their computers to find out as much information about the other as humanly possible within a reasonable period of time during their Saturday morning hangover routine of eating cold pizza from the night before and perusing Facebook to see what everyone was up to the night before.

This behavior is similar to that of our generation condoning binge drinking. Is it acceptable? Yes. Is it moral or normal? Probably not, but I’ll go ahead and help myself to the 1,287 tagged “Public” photos since no one can see what I am doing. There are hundreds of reasons that distinguished psychologists and jaded potential new lovers, now called “stalkers”, could give to explain why this behavior is unsuccessful in getting to know a new love interest and usually results in failure, but I’ll only cover what I have personally witnessed and deem most significant.

1. Gathering up any and all information regarding the cute boy in the backwards hat from the night before is obsessive and so socially out of order and context. Relationships need to blossom on their own and at their own pace. One needs to find out information from their potential new suitor straight from the source, not from Facebook. When you immediately run home and indulge in the public photos, profile and wall posts, you are creating an image of a person you don’t yet know. The photo viewing will result in jealousy. It will result in you questioning who the blonde bimbo with the bad roots is in his most recent tagged photo and set yourself up to be immediately distrustful and jealous of a person you don’t yet know. (P.S. how stupid do you feel when you find out it’s his cousin?) Moreover, coincidently showing up at a bar or event that said potential new lover has listed as an “event” is not coincidental. It’s creepy and stalker-ish, and he’ll notice. Society is only willing to turn the blind eye to stalking when it’s not done in real life, but at home from behind your computer.

2. Scrolling through all past wall posts from his “friends”, Facebook history and photographs is pathetic in and of itself. But you will create a history of this person, as you already created their image, that is likely not entirely accurate. You will see and know exactly who is ex girlfriend is. Then proceed to give this same girl the stink eye when you are out, whom by the way doesn’t know you nor give a shit about who you are or how in depth your conversation with her ex-boyfriend from 2 years ago was. Jenna Marbles said it best: when you walk into the bar and see ex-girlfriend, “step one, ask yourself, does she have my boyfriend's dick in her mouth? If yes, continue to be mad, if no calm the fuck down.” (sorry for the crudeness, but her verbosity is hilarious.)

3. Blowing up the wall of a person you just met/could want to have a relationship with will surely end whatever casual acquaintance you previously had before the wall-rape. While you may be doing this for a plethora of reasons (i.e. make ex girlfriend or any other girl he met that night jealous, etc.) those reasons are never empathized. Potential new lover will never return your wall post, phone call or email and may de-friend you.

4. Furthermore, friend-ing potential new love immediately after meeting them and/or with a twenty four hour period of doing same, looks needy, obsessive and quite frankly, you are already off to a wrong start of the marathon that is a relationship. I don’t think I need to comment further as to why.

Have I done all of the above? Mostly. Have we all done all of the above? Probably. And while our society does accept this behavior, past precedent shows me that these stalker-ish actions don’t work. Current relationship status only further proves that doing the opposite of the above mentioned social networking relationship don’ts does work. Fiancé and I knew next to nothing of each other prior to dating and continued to let our relationship grow from there. No Facebook background information investigated. Fiancé no longer has Facebook. And I, well I need to keep my account active for blog research reasons only ;-)