The Ultimate Guide to LIS
“Internet or Cyber stalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, group, or organisation. It may include false accusation, defamation, slander and libel. It may also include monitoring, identity theft, threats, vandalism, solicitation for sex, or gathering information that may be used to threaten, embarrass or harass.” This is the definition of Cyberstalking according to Wikipedia. It further states that Cyberstallking is often accompanied by realtime or offline stalking.
In many countries and jurisdictions both types of stalking are criminal offenses because both are motivated by a desire to control, intimidate or influence a victim. A stalker may be an online stranger or a person whom the target knows. He may be anonymous and solicit involvement of other people online who do not even know the target.
Then there is what I call “Light Internet Stalking” note the keyword “Light”. Light Internet stalking involves only one of the above verbs and that is stalk without any intention to harass, defame, denigrate, in simple terms, light Internet stalking is very discreetly looking at other people’s Social media pages, or just doing a Google search of their name without any intent to cause any form of harm. I do it, you do it, she does it, he does it, and everyone has done it at one point in time. If you say you haven’t, then you are either lying or in ostensible denial. I may do it more than you or and there are many others who will lightly stalk people as a hobby, or even a habit. I do realise that Stalking is a strong word, and perhaps you haven’t done that, but you prefer to refer it as an intense research of an individual, I am sure you have a method and a plan for your research – just like I do for light Internet stalking which I will be discussing in this post.
I was dating a man an year ago, and we decided not to date each other anymore, I am not really the dating type, due to being time poor – but that’s a story for another post. It was an uneventful day, until my phone lit up with a couple of notifications, one being that this person who I used to date has liked my Instagram video. My initial thought was that it was very nice of him to do that, and I didn’t realise that he was still following me. However, when I checked my Instagram, the “like” was not there. Then, I realised that he was still looking at my posts and accidentally double tapped the video to watch it, but instead of playing it he “Liked” it which placed a red heart on my video. But in the meantime, I was notified before he unliked it because the red heart wasn’t there.
Moral of this story is that, when you are Light Internet stalking, one of the Don’ts is not to let the person know in any shape or form that you are “looking” at their profile. This person committed the non-punishable crime by the country’s law, but the ultimate light Internet stalking crime. He broke the unstated, un-recorded, only registered in the minds of a Light Internet Stalker Rule, of accidentally liking a post then expunging the like. Sexy Rexy was caught red-thumbed. The consequence of breaking this rule is that, I will judge him. The difference between him and me is that, when I light stalk, the person doesn’t know, besides my level is – Expert. To mitigate such a risk when you accidentally like a post, is to leave the like and be mature about it. Let the other person know that you liked their post – admit the fact that you relished something in that post and it’s cool to do so. I’ll admit it: Before this mishap, I’d personally stalked his profile a bazillion times. But I’d never been so amateur as to double-tap on accident. My thumbs know better, and so do I.
And now I will tell you some of the other very important rules of Light Internet Stalking:
Rule 1 : Always Stalk at Home – In Private.
Just like you would never walk in the nude anywhere other than your home, dancing alone, breaking a wind (ahem). Do it in the privacy of your own home. Another one of the most important rules is to confine this within the realms of your own premises. Do not do it at work. The last thing you want is to have your boss or someone else from work, walk pass you and see you looking at your x, y or z’s profile – Of course Facebook is blocked at work – but we also stalk LinkedIn.
So, when you stalk, stalk alone, if the research in intense, you rather have a quiet and private environment – like your home.
Rule 2: No Documents. No Screenshots
No copy and pasting into your phone Notepad, or a writing on a postit. Definitely no Screenshots. Memorize it. Make a mental note of it but no written/documented evidence of anything. I cannot stress enough that if your note-taking accidentally falls in the wrong hands, you are screwed and you will be stripped of all the stalking privileges .
Rule 3: If you ever have the chance to meet who you stalk, say nothing past “Hi! Nice to meet you!”
You’re not allowed to speak or carry on any sort of meaningful conversation with the victim of your acute Internet stalking skills — not until you’ve cultivated an actual, real-life relationship with them. Then — and only then — may you actually talk about the things you saw on their profile or feed. I say all this because you will let information about them slip that completely blows your cover unless you’re actively trying not to do so. You will let them know that you know their birthday, their dog’s name, their last boyfriend’s name, what they wore on Tuesday, whose house party they were at on Friday and that they were sick with a cold two winters ago and made chicken noodle soup from scratch to cure it. Something will slip, trust me. So, instead, just pretend you’re a cripplingly shy person who takes a while to trust people. Maybe they’ll find it endearing? If not, you can always feign being a mute. (Source of this rule – TBA)
Rule 4: Keep all hands, feet and utensils away from the device that is fueling your stalk time.
When you scroll, scroll slowly. When you decide to stop on a particular post or picture, back your hands away completely from the mouse pad, mouse or screen. If you have to creepily hold them behind your back like an observant museum-goer, do so. If you have unusually heavy breathing that could possibly set something off, hold a piece of paper in front of your mouth. Just be sure that the area is clear and you leave no room for any monumental or humiliating errors. Oh, and if you do accidentally click or tap something, don’t go all cray and privatize/block your profile like my ex’s girlfriend did. Chances are, the stalkie knows exactly who you are already. There’s no hiding, so just own it.
Rule 5: If you drink and drive, you are a bloody idiot.
Or drink and stalk, or smoke and stalk. Or snort and stalk. Just be sober when you stalk or every single previous tip given will be for naught. Your inhibitions will be lowered and your clear judgment completely muddled when you mix any sort of alcohol or drug with stealth stalking.
WRONG Formula → Alcohol + Stalking = getting caught RIGHT Formula → Sober + Stalking = Best Practice LIS
6. Stalk hard, stalk often.
Think about it: Where would we be today without the expert-level skills of our generation’s greatest Internet creepers? In the darkness, that’s where. Ignorant to what your ex has been up to? What his younger and in my case older girlfriend looks like? The dead-ness behind their eyes in pictures? Taking exotic holidays pictures with his new pre-made family ! Blind to what cool girls who you’ll never be friends with are wearing on a daily basis? Those are problems of a distant past, an empty and dark time that, fortunately, we’ve long since moved past as a society.
Embrace this new reality. Don’t hesitate to like posts/pictures or people who you are friends with – there was a reason you accepted or added them as friends. We all are human, we do make mistakes, but be the bigger person and move on. We all have feelings, show it by posting a nice comment only if you feel like it. I realise that the hearts job is to pump blood, but sometimes it does generate certain emotions, it can be negative, positive and neutral, so allow the brain to do its job and analyse those emotions before you act on it.
So, stalk but lightly, follow the rules and above all, follow your heart, listen to your brain. Don’t hate, harm or harass.
I end with this quote:
“Without love we cannot survive. Human beings are social creatures and a concern for each other is the very basis of our life together” ~ The Dalai Lama.