|| Cyber Stalking: The Problem ||
Before the days of mainstream social media, if you wanted to show a photo of your crush to your best friend, you had to dig deep into the annals of Yahoo and hope the object of your affection had a Shutterfly web album that was public. Or if you were lucky, maybe they even had a blog.
This is what the innocent version of online stalking looked like 20 years ago. But with the inception of social media, this landscape has drastically changed from harmless to harmful. With sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, you are made aware of someone’s every move – whether they intend for you to know or not.
One of the biggest problems with social media today is the amount of passive information that is available. For example, if I post a photo to my Instagram account, even with privacy settings intact, I am at the mercy of how my followers interact with my post. Someone of the opposite sex may continuously ‘like’ my photos or comment on them, but to someone who is stalking or paying extra attention to my account, they’ve already created their own narrative of the situation.
Perhaps you are guilty of this behavior yourself. But wait, who is this girl that keeps liking his photos? And wait – why is he liking all of hers? Is that an ex? He must be hooking up with her, too. Before you know it, you’re three years deep on a stranger’s Facebook page looking through their sister’s wedding photos. When all such problems start pooping into your head, then definitely such hyper consciousness is called unhealthy social media stalking. Whether your online stalking behavior is prompted by curiosity, excitement, or suspicion, the bottom line is the same: You want information. Moreover, when there is a gap between the information you have and the information you want, uncertainty is born.
(Part 1 of 3 - continued in next post)
By Chetana Chaudhury
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