The Evolution of Stalking
Remember the good old days?
Oh, of stalking. I meant to say the good old days of stalking.
As with basically any activity that existed over 15 years ago and still does, back in the good old days stalking was more difficult. The methods were more blatant. It was more wholesome, more real.
- Looking through the stalkee’s open window
- Physically following the stalkee on foot
- Attending the same events or movies, going to the mall at the same time as the stalkee
- The good ol’ driveby to see if the stalkee’s car is in their driveway/if their light is on
- Sitting outside the stalkee’s classroom in order engineer an ‘accidental’ encounter when their class ends
Look at those creepy-as-shit examples. That’s what stalking was. You’ll notice they all have something in common; the stalker has to actually do something physically; has to extend actual, physical effort of some kind. Getting caught was easier, and there were actual real consequences of getting caught. You don’t just laugh, throw your hands up and say “Whoops, ya got me!” when you get busted hiding in a bush. If you’re smart, you run so that you don’t get caught and arrested. Being a stalker 15 years ago must have required an actual, tangible skill set, but for a much smaller reward: very basic knowledge of what the stalkee is doing, with whom, and where.
Nowadays we ALL stalk because it’s evolved into such an incredibly easy activity. Sadly, modern stalking is more soulless and follows most modern trends, in that it requires no skill, patience or effort whatsoever. Tell me these aren’t just as creepy as the earlier examples:
- Checking the stalkee’s facebook status
- Checking the stalkee’s facebook pictures
- Checking the stalkee’s facebook check-ins
- Checking the stalkee’s twitter
- Checking the stalkee’s pinterest/blog
- Using technology to pinpoint the actual physical location of the stalkee’s smartphone at any time unless they have specifically disabled this feature
- More, so much more
I feel like Dr. Ian Malcolm yelling at John Hammond in the 1993 summer blockbuster Jurassic Park, and screw you guys for making me use this analogy. I hate Jeff Goldblum.
Dr. Ian Malcolm: I’ll tell you the problem with the scientific power you’re using here: it didn’t require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done, and you took the next step. You didn’t earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don’t take any responsibility for it.
For the second time in your whole life, you’re absolutely right Jeff Goldblum. The other time was when you said “Life finds a way”, also a Jurassic Park quote, but I digress. With this technology which is available to virtually everyone, virtually everyone can be an instant ‘modern stalker’, if they so choose. These modern stalking methods actually provide more in the way of information more frequently than the older methods, and they can all be performed from the comfort of your home, or really from wherever there’s internet access. Ironically, to most people this means they can stalk anyone they want at any time, simply by reaching into their own pants pocket – it’s like the whole process has gone full circle, because isn’t that where this process used to end?
And it’s becoming a trend…is anyone noticing?
Look at what facebook is turning into; this little modification was quietly slipped in there a few days ago:
Facebook has streamlined stalking yet again! By completely anonymously ‘Starring’ a person, I can tailor my updates to make it even more stalk-centric. Facebook is already anonymous; we already have more stalking power available at our nosy little fingertips than we’ve ever had before in the history of people; did they really need to go and make this even easier?
Apparently, yes. But I am resisting this change, and I’ll tell you why.
It’s so easy that the reward seems fruitless. EVERYONE has this ability; it’s not special just for me. Let’s say you stalk people on facebook. Your stalkees are probably using this right now to stalk their own stalkees, who are also using it to stalk other stalkees, and so it goes. The entire point of stalking is that you only know what your stalkee is doing some of the time. Think ahead to the future, where is this going? One day, will you just be able to type a person’s name in and see what they’re doing at all times? Would you even want to do that? What’s the point of even stalking them at that point? The mystique is gone. It’s the difference between watching a filthy hardcore porno and a sexy, well done strip tease. It’s about the journey facebook, not the destination, and sometimes what you don’t see is more appealing. Every time you streamline it, you take one more step out of our dark, creepy journey.
Sorry readers, but I’m going to do my stalking the old fashioned way; out in the bushes behind your house. I’ll expect you home at the normal time tonight.
Don’t be late.