You Don’t Have Social Media Stalkers

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Having a stalker is a serious thing. Not that I would know. I don’t have stalkers. In fact, many people don’t.

Don’t get me wrong. I am all over the internet and have had weird encounters with people who ought to know better. There’s the woman who is a little too aggressive with her texts. The dude who is involved in an unhappy marriage and won’t take social cues. There’s the person who wants to be my friend a little too much.

But those people aren’t stalkers. They are eager beavers.

The word ‘stalker’ is an overused and (often) sexist term that we throw around to mock and ridicule people who like us more than we like them. Chicks are labeled as stalkers more often than men. She won’t take a hint. She’s such a stalker. I hear this time & time again from narcissistic men who don’t take the time to establish boundaries and clarify relationships because they’re too egotistical and — honestly — too stupid to realize that their own behaviors make matters worse.

And social media chicks throw around the stalker label when there’s a guy who comments too much on a facebook status update. On more than one occasion, I’ve had to challenge a colleague and ask, “How much of a stalker is he if you engage him and answer his posts with a friendly response?”

There’s no one formula for an online stalker, but I think it goes something like this.

Frequency + inappropriate familiarity + boundary crossing + not stopping when you ask him/her to stop = stalker

Or something like that.

Safety is no joke. When someone gives you the willies, it’s time to stop interacting with him. You have a clear situation when a chick keeps texting you after you’ve asked her to stop? Inappropriate behavior needs to stop. But you can’t be the boy who cried wolf and use the word ‘stalker’ for every single ugly dude on Facebook who expresses an interest in your profile.

And frankly, the world isn’t all that into you.

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