Once upon a time, doing what was called a "drive by" was the best way to get info on either someone you were interested in or someone you were dating. It was a simple tact, one that no one uses today (or do you?), and could be acted out just by driving your car or bike (or even on foot!) past the person's home or work to find out the goods. Were they seeing someone else, too? Were they home when the said they were supposed to be at work? You know, all that stuff.
But thanks to the Interwebz, stalking, um, I mean, investigating people has become so much easier. But is it OK? Has it become a very necessary evil because we’re all that equal parts paranoid and crazy?
We asked a few ladies their thoughts on stalking. Should we be taking advantage of the technology given to us? Or should we pretend it's still 1955?
"NECESSARY. And it's necessary for two reasons: 1. I need to go through your Facebook history and look for statements that set off red flags — republicanism, homophobia, sexism, classism, racism, transphobia, ignorance, etc. If I'm going to spend the bulk of the relationship trying to teach you how to be a decent human, then f**k it; not worth my time. 2. Until the rates of sexual assault/rape/murder for women drop significantly, I'm going to look you up on Facebook, I'm going to enter your name into the court database and the sex offender registry. I'm going to Google your name and hope that nothing shows up that would make me feel unsafe to be around you. Remember, men look women up online to make sure they aren't fatter than their profile photo. Women look men up so that they can protect themselves from violence," says Caleigh, 30.
"I echo Caleigh's #1. Except for republicanism — I like arguing with a republican for the sake of keeping life interesting. But definitely want to know what their general thoughts on life are — not going to waste time on someone who is rude or offensive in their public social life. But drive-by type stalking? Heck no. Sounds more like checking up to ensure that someone is where they're supposed to be. Creepy Ick," says Jen, 35.
"Some online 'stalking' is necessary in today's world, just so you get a better idea of who that person is when they aren't flirting with you. But I cut it short of real life stalking — once you start following someone in person to see where they go, you've crossed from 'checking up on their public image/what they chat with their friends about' to 'downright creepy and invasive'. And nobody wants that," says Becky, 29.
Speaking from experience, yes, it’s a must.
"It's how I've found out that guys flirting with me actually have significant others. Like, via social network investigating,” says Maggie, 33.
"Thanks to light online stalking, I’ve been able to see exactly what a guy is all about. It's amazing the sh*t people share online when they think no one is looking, but of course, everyone always is," Beth, 27.
This is how Mark Zuckerberg wanted it!
"Mark Zuckerberg wanted it this way. He wanted to know the relationship status of people. He used Facebook as a way to do that, so why not follow his lead? We all have Facebook and Twitter and Instagram for a reason, and that reason is to pry into the lives of others" says Trish, 27.
Takeaway? Men, we're watching you. You may think you're getting away with your dastardly deeds, but we've got an eye on you and nothing is going to slip past us. Thank, Mark Zuckerberg! Thanks, Google!
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