Checking up on romantic interests or exes on social media can be a common practice, but it's important to be aware of one's limits and avoid being creepy. Maintaining dignity while "stalking" on social media requires being mindful of one's actions and intentions.
The Basic Steps Of Social Media Stalking
1. If you have access to his profile, check out everything he's made visible
If a person's social media profile is set to public, it is acceptable to view their content. However, it's important to respect their privacy settings and not go beyond what they have made available to the public. Keep in mind that social media platforms have been around for a long time and most people are aware of the privacy options available to them.
2. Check out your mutuals
Before a blind date, it can be helpful to research the person you will be meeting by checking out their social media profiles. Look for mutual friends and consider whether or not you have a genuine connection with those people. This can give you insight into the person you will be meeting and help you decide if the date is worth going on. However, it's important to remember that not everything a person shares on social media is an accurate representation of their true personality and it should not be used as the only basis for judgment.
3. Go to Google
Using quotes around a person's name when searching for them on search engines can yield specific results that might reveal information about them. However, it is important to remember that not all information found online is accurate and it's important to consider the source. Additionally, it's important to respect individuals' privacy and not share or use personal information without their consent. It's not advisable to base judgments on someone based on information found online as it may not be accurate or relevant to the individual.
The Advanced Steps Of Social Media Stalking
1. Use Google's "search by image" feature for online dates
Nev Schulman often identifies catfish by checking the profile picture and verifying that it is not taken from an obscure MySpace page. Investigating the person's online presence is a useful tactic in this situation.
2. Search for news related to the things in his life
To take it a step further, try searching for specific information you find about the person. For example, if they mention attending Florida State University, try looking for their name in the university's newspaper archives. This information may not be necessary, but it can be interesting to know.
3. Find his family on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
After seeing the person's family Christmas photos, it can be interesting to learn more about their family members. For example, if you notice that his younger sister is a fan of Drake, you could try to find out where she hangs out and wear a Drake shirt in the hopes of starting a conversation with her. From there, you could inquire about her brother's relationship status. Keep in mind, these actions are not advisable, it's not ethical to stalk someone or invade their privacy and it could put you in legal trouble.
The Downright Terrifying (Read: Unhinged) Steps Of Social Media Stalking
1. Find out where he works, and call for his schedule
If someone has shared information about themselves online, it can be tempting to use it to find out more about them. However, it's important to remember that just because someone has shared something online, it doesn't mean they want everyone to know or use it in a way that they didn't intend. It's also not appropriate or ethical to drop in on someone unannounced in their professional environment. This can be seen as disrespectful and invading their privacy and could lead to legal trouble.
2. Search every dating site for his typical online handle
When individuals discover a handle, they often stick with it. This can indicate a lack of creativity or a desire to maintain a specific online identity, such as "MooNDragoN69". Without more information, it is impossible to say how this individual describes himself in his profiles or if he is accurate. Additionally, it is impossible to say if he mentions you without more context.
3. Chat with him under an alias
If you want to take your online interactions to the next level, consider creating your own profile using a different handle, such as "MooNUniCorn7", in order to get the attention of the individual you are interested in. By communicating with him under this alias, you can observe if he uses similar techniques that he used to attract you. Additionally, you can inquire about the reasons for the failure of his previous relationship. However, it is important to note that if he reveals concerning information, such as stalking or invasion of privacy, it is best to reconsider your involvement with this individual.
How To Stop Social Media Stalking When You Realize It's Gone Too Far
Checking up on an ex or someone you're interested in online can be normal, but it's important to be aware when it becomes unhealthy, frightening or potentially dangerous.
1. Recognize that you have a problem
Around 40% of individuals report being addicted to social media. This means that many people share this obsession with technology. Additionally, a study published in Science Direct found that single women are the most addicted demographic. It is crucial to recognize and acknowledge when you have a problem with social media usage.
2. Consider the effects it has on you
Apart from encouraging unhealthy obsession over someone else, social media stalking can also harm your physical and mental health. Research has shown that over 40% of young adults state that their sleep has been negatively impacted by social media, and 34% report experiencing severe FOMO. Additionally, social media can damage relationships, with some studies indicating it is a factor in one out of three divorces currently.
3. Limit your time online
One way to avoid social media stalking is to limit your time on social media. Set a strict time limit for your daily social media usage, which will result in less time spent monitoring your crush/ex's activity. This will give you more time to focus on other things such as reading the news, following your favorite bands, etc.
4. If all else fails, seek help
If you are unable to stop social media stalking, it may be beneficial to seek professional help. Therapists and psychologists specialize in treating addiction to social media and can assist you in addressing the underlying impulses that drive this behavior. It is not something to be ashamed of, seeking help is the best step you can take for yourself and the person you are stalking.