The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

A Comprehensive Guide to Stalking

Have you ever wondered if you’re a stalker? Or have you wondered about the types of people who are potentially stalking you? The world of stalking is a complicated and confusing one and navigating it can be awkward for newbies. So to help those of you who are considering becoming a stalker or being stalked, I’ve put together a little guide from an expert’s perspective.

8 Ways To Stalk: 

Business Stalking

Stalker – Realtors, lenders, salespeople, etc.

Stalkee – Professional acquaintances the stalker needs something from who do not return voicemails in a timely manner. Occasionally this form of stalking is used on family members or friends of stalkers who are particularly proficient in the art of Business Stalking.

Stalkery Activities – The stalker usually begins with a phone call and will then proceed to text, email, call home numbers, tweet and even possibly facebook the stalkee in succession at regular intervals until the stalkee is irritated enough to reply with whatever information or document the stalker is requiring.

Level of Danger – 2. This form of stalking is really only dangerous if the stalkee gets pissed off enough to retaliate or hold his stalkery behavior against him. Most business people consider a certain aptitude in cheerful Business Stalking a respectable asset.

Friend Stalking

Stalker – Normal, nosy, bored people sitting in front of a computer who don’t feel like doing actual work at that moment and who’ve already read all the pertinent celeb gossip of the day.

Stalkee – Friends of the stalker.

Stalkery Activities – Pulling up good friends’ facebook pages and going through old pictures. Seeing if you missed any status updates. Scrolling through friends’ friends to see if they are friends with anyone you’re not but should be. Checking friends’ twitter feeds directly to see who they’re talking to that you aren’t friends with.

Level of Danger – 1. How are you going to know what you’re missing out on if you don’t stalk your friends’ social media?

Spousal Stalking

Stalker – People who wanna know what her husband is up to. You know, just in case. Because she has an overactive imagination and watches too many movies where the wife is like, “I just had NO IDEA my husband was actually a CIA agent and had a whole other family in Cincinnati.”

Stalkee – Emotionally removed spouses who aren’t ‘secretive’ really, just sort of quiet about his feelings in general.

Stalkery Activities – Same as Friend Stalking, but with an emphasis on suspicious wondering and concern over contact between the stalkee and attractive members of the opposite sex.

Level of Danger – 4, but mostly just to the stalker’s mental stability. It’s generally not healthy to get sucked down too far into the rabbit hole of ‘Who is my husband talking to and why is her goddamn hair so pretty in her avatar?’

Boy-You-Knew-Years-Ago-Who’s-Now-Cuter-Than-You-Remember Stalking

Stalker – Everyone

Stalkee – That nice but unremarkable guy who just friended you that you knew a little bit when you were a teenager who aged really well and is way cuter and more interesting than you thought he was back then.

Stalkery Activities – Looking through his pictures and thinking how adorable he is with his dog/tattoo/kid/garden/haircut. Lamenting the fact you didn’t think to date him when you were a teenager because you were interested in his best friend. Liking his status updates and being proud of your own wit when he likes yours.

Level of Danger – 5. This type of activity is generally harmless and everyone does it, but if you’re too obvious and aggressive about it people (and especially the stalkee) are going to think you’re a weirdo.

Ex-Boyfriend Stalking

Stalker – Again, everyone. Don’t pretend you’re above it.

Stalkee – That guy you dated that summer between your sophomore and junior years in college who played the guitar and had to go back to his east coast school in the fall, so you both ended up just moving on to other people. He’s not like ‘the one who got away’ or anything, but you still sometimes wonder how he is and if he ever wonders how you are.

Stalkery Activities – Clicking through the photos of his wife and wondering if she’s prettier than you are in an objective sense. And is she more fun? Checking out his ‘About’ section only to realize he has an inordinate amount of religious/conservative/gun related/sport related things he ‘likes’ and realizing you maybe didn’t discuss all that many important life details that summer when you were 20. Deciding you are definitely prettier than his wife anyway, especially in that photo her friend tagged her in where she has spinach in her teeth and is laughing with her mouth open.

Level of Danger – 2. EVERYONE DOES IT.  Plus it often lays to rest any thoughts of ‘what might have been’. It also helps if he got fat and now wears Hawaiian shirts.

‘Friend’-Who-Posts-Something-Weird-or-Outrageous Stalking

Stalker – People on facebook enough to see random shit other people decide is appropriate to post.

Stalkee –  That chick you knew in junior high who never really interacts on facebook and then one day just busts out something overly personal or revealing as a status update or photo (examples: boudoir photos as profile pics, any photos involving nudity, angry status updates about exes who’ve hacked their accounts and are scumbags, announcements involving gender identity reassignment, closet exits, etc.).

Stalkery Activities – Visiting the stalkee’s page and looking for any evidence of previous crazy.

Level of Danger – 0. If she’s going to put it out there, she really can’t blame you for looking for more of the story.

Minor-Internet-Celeb-With-a-Dramatic-Event Stalking

Stalker – People who read blogs.

Stalkee – That blogger who built her platform on how much she loved her husband and being totally open and transparent and then just randomly and with no warning announced she was getting separated.

Stalkery Activities – Checking the stalkee’s twitter, husband’s blog and even gossipy opinion blogs about why this possibly could have happened and how you didn’t know it was happening. Feeling overly emotionally invested in the life of someone you do not actually know.

Level of Danger – 7. This activity can be weird and dangerous if you have a proclivity for crazy and instability. If you don’t, it’s probably just pretty normal. Don’t send her gifts or write her personal emails telling her you’re so sorry she’s going through this. That’s crossing a line.

Criminally Prosecutable Stalking

Stalker – Crazies

Stalkee –  Normal people, famous people

Stalkery Activities – Researching where the stalkee lives In Real Life. Visiting the stalkee IRL. Calling the stalkee’s cell ‘just to chat’ even though you don’t know each other. Mailing anything live or that was one time alive to the stalkee. Attempting to assassinate presidents in the name of love for the stalkee.

Level of Danger – 35. Don’t participate in this type of stalking, People. It sullies the good name of stalking, and I won’t stand for it.

So there you go. You now have all the information you need to be a proficient and socially acceptable stalker. And remember, stalking is not to be confused with lurking. Everyone stalks, but only weirdos, deviants and creepers lurk*.

*Edited to add: Dear Self, It’s probably inadvisable to make a joke (that was really aimed at your twitter-lurking brother) insulting people who potentially are nice enough to read your blog and just don’t care to comment. Way to alienate your traffic, dopey. (Also? That joke was totally Jason’s idea. I blame him.)

11 Responses to A Comprehensive Guide to Stalking

  1. If you read someone’s blog post but don’t comment, is that stalking or lurking?

    As long as you comment, you avoid both, correct? But I suppose the extremes of commenting can themselves verge on being a public nuisance, or perhaps defacing public property.

    • Commenting is ALWAYS advisable. Except trolly commenting. But I’ve never been popular enough to have a troll, so I guess I don’t really know. What I’m saying is I would welcome a troll. Trolls, please comment trollishly.

  2. Your brother is a twitter-lurker? What does that mean?

  3. I stalk your blog. Especially now that I’m not on FB anymore. Haha.

  4. It sounds like everyone is a stalker and a stalkee…that it is on a spectrum from 0 to 35. It might be fun to do a questionnaire where people can find out where they land on the scale.

    : 0 ) Theresa

  5. hahahahaha…i will not say what activities I participate in, BUT, just that i thoroughly enjoyed this. Awesome post…

  6. There’s actually something called “International Blog De-lurking Week.” I think that EVERYONE should celebrate it … sort of along the lines of the Prodigal Son. We roast a fatted calf, or some tofu for vegans, and forgive all lurking. *grin*

  7. Hmmm…thinking my approach & proposal to join a group of strangers is somewhere between a 2-3?? Yes?

  8. Recently indulged in Minor-Internet-Celeb-With-a-Dramatic-Event Stalking. Were you checking on Jon over at Blurbomat trying to figure out what went wrong with Heather (aka Dooce)? Because your write-up felt very familiar to me.

    Also… I felt totally dirty when I came up with no new details and realized they probably want privacy, damn them.

    Sage

    • YES, Sage. I actually read a blog post some woman wrote who was speculating (using their posts) about what had happened and when. And then I also felt very dirty and vowed not to do that again.

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