According to Wikipedia, “Cyber Stalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, a group, or an organization. It may include false accusations, defamation, slander and libel. It may also include monitoring, identity theft, threats, vandalism, solicitation for sex, or gathering information that may be used to threaten or harass.”
I’m wondering why you’re into this blog now. You might be someone who’s doing this, who’ve done this or a victim of this. In any way, the cyber stalking I am referring to is not something as serious as the one mentioned above. This pertains to deliberate checking of someone’s social media accounts with the main intent of knowing the person’s thoughts, status, companions or whereabouts and seeing his/her uploaded photos; basically feeding one’s hunger on the current situation or happening of the other person involved.
There is a thin line between admiration and stalking. Depending on one’s motive, cyber stalking can either be harmful or helpful.
For illustration purposes, here are the levels of online stalking where you will be able to know the intensity that the spell of this addictive skill (?) has been affecting you.
Level I: The Getting-To-Know-You-All-By-Myself Level. You’re charmed and captivated by his individuality but for some reason, you still do not have enough courage to let him know that you’re interested with him. Or you do not actually have any intention of letting him know, ever. In fact and in the first place, he might not know you at all. You’re using your own accounts and you are satisfied on what you see. His few pictures and the articles he shared in public already mean a lot to you. You’re doing this whenever you’re bored or whenever you’re reminded that someone as lovely as he is exists in this universe. Nothing is wrong with this, believe me. It’s just like checking the feeds of your favorite celebrity.
Level II: The I-Want-To-Know-How-Are-You Level. It is also known as The I-Want-To-Make-Sure-That-You’re-Lesser-Than-Me Level. It’s addictive, especially if you are no longer in her friendship group. Oftentimes, it’s frustrating that you have a limited access on the information involving her. This usually applies to an enemy or someone you’re tangled in rivalry. Worst thing, the more you check on her, the more you recognize that she’s better than you in many ways. Stop immediately and do not wait for the time when you will realize that you are actually copying her outfits, her stuffs and even her captions. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, remember?
Level III: The I-Can-See-Everything-About-You Level. You’ve made a fake account. You’ve pretended to be someone else. You invented a name and borrowed someone’s picture. You’ve added his closest friends and family members. Eventually, when you’re all set with your dummy identity, you connect with him. You can’t stop searching for more information, which includes not only his posts but as well as his likes and comments. This is typically done in obsession with a former partner. One article on dailymail.co.uk said, “Arguably this obsessive monitoring of exes can be more damaging to a new relationship than internet porn. You never get closure because you still have a ‘live feed’ to their life. And inevitably it damages your commitment to any new partner.”
The internet plays many roles in our lives. It can be useful for research and informative in nature. Nevertheless, wrong usage of the power of technology may lead us to self-destruction. We may persuade ourselves that cyber stalking does not hurt anyone nor disrupt any restrictions. But isn’t it the same as going to a party and spending the whole day asking everybody for unkind gossip?
It’s not yet too late. You can still get out on the spying habit you’ve been enjoying for months or years now. I’m cheering on you, just like what I’ve gone through.