Social Media Stalking

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Anyone who says they don't stalk is more than likely telling a little white lie. Although it can seem a little creepy and unnecessary at times, let me reassure you that it's completely and utterly normal. I do believe girls are more serious stalkers as we're generally the more competitive and comparative gender, but I wouldn't put it past boys either. The long and the short of it is that as human beings, we're all generally quite nosy and like to know what other people are doing. I mean, that is the whole point of social media, isn't it? There's two types of stalking which come in the form of accidental stalking and intentional stalking. Accidental stalking can often start on one of your friend's Twitter profiles and innocently end on a stranger's profile, simply through the art of clicking by association. Harmless, right?

Then there's intentional stalking. Actively tapping someone's name into your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter search bar when you know full well you don't follow them. But we all do it. When we do it we know we probably won't like what we find, but we do it anyway. Why? Because it's so easy to access. Because it's practically right there, in front of you, calling your name. The key thing within all of this is to not deny it. If you're going to do it, at least admit it. Don't pretend that you're like, super laid back and don't have a care in the world about looking at anyone who you don't follow because you'll look silly. It's pretty much second nature and at the end of the day, there's nothing wrong with a secret little stalk from time to time, as long as it doesn't become borderline obsessive and result in being an unhealthy daily habit in your life.

The funny thing about it is that it's so easy to get wound up by it. We look, knowing full well that there's a high chance that we probably won't like what we see. Or that we'll love what we see and wish we too, could have lives like it. When you see perfectly framed Instagram pictures with clear blue sea and an enviable, tanned figure right in front of you, it's easy to feel guilty about sitting in your joggers devouring a whole bar of Dairy Milk. And when you see someone working hard, with their Facebook profile smelling of success, it's easy to doubt your efforts and wonder if you should be doing more. But what so many of us fail to remember is that social media is a microscopic reflection of someone's life. Social media has been morphed into a popularity contest, with people's emotions and self-worth at the core of it all.

No single person can ever be summed up by their online presence, because they're only making public exactly what they want you to see, and want you to think. Realistically, nobody is going to upload a picture of themselves looking like crap with an infestation of spots on their face. And nobody is going to tweet about how inexplicably boring their life is. Not only that, but nobody in their right mind is going to tell you all the reasons they're not happy about themselves and their lives. Why? Because social media is an opportunity to create the perfect life for yourself. We all have to deal with shit, and having an online presence is a nice little escapism. Essentially, it's a memory base for everything you want to remember, so when you look back and scroll through your online persona, all the bad things seem insignificant.

We can't blame people for seeming as if they have perfect lives because truthfully, we all want it. The faultless body, perfect job and luxurious lifestyle. And social media allows us to have it to a certain extent. It allows you to show everyone all the amazing things you're doing, and completely cut out all the things that might be a little bit shitty or less unimpressive. So let people fill your timelines with the things and people they love. Let them have their happy place. Everyone has a story and no matter how perfect someone's life seems through a camera lens, nobody ever feels perfect. As long as you're wise to the fact that social media is somebody in a very small and somewhat glorified nutshell, there's absolutely nothing wrong with having a little stalk now and again. Just try not to hit the follow button by mistake.

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