Oh, not that kind of stalker. Not the illegal kind. Not the kind who lurks in the bushes outside her victim’s house, scheming and sobbing and spying through the windows. I was a Facebook stalker–where even the most casually curious observer can see all the photos, updates and intimate details of someone’s life at the mere click of a mouse? Oh, I stalked. I stalked HARD.
I stalked my high school’s mean girls — the ones who called me “fat-ass” when I sprouted womanly hips during sophomore year–and chuckled with malicious glee when a beach vacation photo album revealed their spare tires and cellulite and stretch marks galore. I stalked my fifth grade frenemy, clicking backward through tons of wall posts to find the place where her marriage had unraveled. And, of course, I wouldn’t be a very good Facebook stalker unless I stalked my exes.
What were they doing? Who were they dating? In the aftermath of our breakups, had they become handsome and accomplished and enviably successful? Or were they sad, sloppy shadows of their former selves and full of regret that they’d ever let me–the one perfect girl they’d ever know–get away?I have one ex in particular who lied and cheated throughout our relationship, one whose behavior was so karma-killingly terrible that in a just world he would have spent the rest of his life in misery. And while, ironically, we were no longer connected on Facebook–I had de-friended him on the same day that I told him never, ever to contact me again–I could still see his profile thanks to our mutual connections.
Naturally, it was for this one, more than any other guy, that I put my Facebook stalker skills to use. Secretly, shamelessly, clicking through his photo albums and friendships in search of any evidence that he was getting his cosmic comeuppance. I am not embarrassed to admit that, each time I visited, I hoped to see that he had lost his job. Or his hair. Or his penis, preferably in an accident involving a factory fire and at least one shark.
But it was also this same ex who brought my stalking to an end… when, mere hours after posting to friends and family that I’d gotten some incredible and long-awaited job-related news, I received a sarcastically congratulatory–and typically smarmy–message from him. Turns out, he’d been stalking my profile just as hard as I’d been stalking his (and possibly harder).And so I quit. Cold turkey. Because while I’d always known that my Facebook stalker status wasn’t one of my most admirable qualities, that it was base and self-involved and a seriously stupid waste of time, that had never been enough to put me off. But the knowledge that, in following my evil ex-boyfriend’s movements online, I was giving myself something in common with that total, unforgivable douchebag… that was enough to stop me cold, forever and ever, never to look back.
And if, through the karmic magic of the universe, he does end up losing his penis in a terrible shark fire? I’m sure I’ll find out on Twitter.
Have you ever been a Facebook stalker? Who were you spying on? Did you stop or are you still Facebook stalking? Do you think you have a Facebook stalker? Fess up in the comments!