By now, we should all be familiar with the saying “Stalking is caring.” But honestly, is stalking really caring? Or is it just a self-defense of transforming ourselves to Sherlock Holmes and finding someone’s hidden skeletons right away? Social Media profiles allow us to take a peak into someone’s life in a click of a button.
So, where’s the line between stalking and research?
If you are “investigating” the profiles of people you actually know, can it even be considered as creeping? After all, isn’t that the purpose of a search bar?
Let’s be real, how else are you going to prepare for a date if you don’t do a little (or extensive, I don’t judge) background research first?
I mean, the person may be a serial killer or a drug lord, so better safe than sorry..right?
After all, you need to prepare yourself with as much knowledge as possible before getting yourself into an unfamiliar situation. That’s at least what you will continue to tell yourself.
I know my decision to research someone’s life on social media is not a popular one. It seems like everyone I know is intent on finding everything and anything there is to know about a person online before even seeing them in the flesh. And while stalking can indeed amount to caring, what happens when you find out something you would rather not know?
And, even better, how do you mention it to your date?
Oh btw, I kind of went on your Facebook profile and found out that you may still be in a relationship…
Doesn’t sound like the best opening line, does it?
Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, you name it, we’re all on it. Uploading a snapshot of how good of a hair day we had one day only takes a matter of seconds – or minutes if you edit the sh*t out of it. We upload edited pictures of ourselves having “fun” just to keep up with today’s picture-perfect standards.
And while social media does allow us to keep in touch with our friends around the world, it also enhances our ability to become our own private detective on a scavenger hunt to find out everything about a person.
Now honestly, does your profile picture really portray your character and personality?
Let’s face, we as Gen-Yers all judge a book by its cover. Facebook and Instagram are supposed to be the best versions of what our lives are actually like – even if our lives aren’t what they seem to be at all. What it definitely won’t show you are the small moments that weren’t picture perfect. There is no proof of all the bad days, tears, and sorrows online. There’s no hashtag for #HorribleBoss, #hewassuchanasshole, #CrazyExGirlfriend or #BadDay.
No one can blame you for being curious, especially when it comes to relationships. Because let’s face it, if we can avoid catching feelings, why wouldn’t we?
Fortunately, experience thought me that by looking, assuming, and drawing wild conclusions about someone based on what you find out online isn’t fair to the person you’re with. When you start digging for dirt, you damn well know you are not going to find anything remotely good.
Why we still do this is a question that remains unanswered, but apparently we never learn our lesson until it’s too late.
As with everything in life, communication is key. If you want to know something about your potential SO, don’t be afraid to get up and ask! Because the answer is not going to be online.
Trust me, you’ll thank me later.