Not in the original sense of the word. I am talking social media stalking. The kind you do on a Sunday evening, often with a hangover and Domino’s in hand feeling sorry for yourself. Ok, so perhaps not the most glamorous of topics, but we have all been there… Whether it is an ex you want to keep tabs on and maybe didn’t end on good terms, or a new fling you want to suss out, or even a long-term partner you feel inadequate or insecure about. The classic Facebook stalking, trawling through Instagram or even going to the lengths of adding mutual friends to ensure you get the dirty… Is stalking ever ok?
He was a d*ck. He shouldn’t be happy. He shouldn’t have her. Perhaps not, but beating your self up over his current life is not a coping mechanism. It’s torture. If you can’t get over an ex and want to know his regular whereabouts, do you really think by punishing yourself this way is going to work? Maybe you are eager to get back together with an ex, even if the relationship was so long ago, and the occasional stalk makes you long for what you had? You want to feel close and know what he is up to…
This is the perfect time to remember that social media shows us all in rose-tinted glasses. He may look fine and dandy in the pictures, but you don’t truly know what is going on behind closed doors. Despite what people say you really can’t have a meaningful relationship over social media. So put the laptop down, break the nightly Facebook stalk and morning Instagram scrolling of Mr Ex, and get out there with the people who are really in your life.
A scroll through old pictures of your man with another woman can be agonising, especially if you know said partner in question or have seen your other half in their company. Stalking can become an addition and is not healthy for our mental health, let me tell you. Stop and think about what you have. If your boyfriend or husband is with you, then there you go, he is precisely that, with you. Talk. Be open with your emotions, it allows him to be supportive and this reassurance is often all we need even if it does take a long time! Talking to friends is another guaranteed winner, or a counsellor for that matter.
It’s almost as if we like the pain it causes us. The heartache, and inner feeling of jealousy, a trait I cannot stand, but equally know it is part of human nature. There is something quite perverse about someone you are head over heels for with another person, questioning what he or she are up to after the pictures have been taken and posted. Wondering if they think of you? Well, like with the Ex stalking, or the Boyfriend stalking, my advice here is to get out there and live your life in the real world. Social posts can hide so many truths and your life is not behind a screen.
The New Fling
Of them all, I think this is the most acceptable, and sometimes even encouraged. With dating apps allowing any Tom Dick or Harry to meet us, social media allows an insight before any commitment. Unless you're cat-fished of course... (a whole new blog there). But in all seriousness, a little profile sweep could mean you're better prepared, and have an opening gambit to start the date off to a good start. Alway bear in mind though, the rose-tinted social media lenses!
Recent research has found that Facebook stalking can hold the same grip as alcohol or drugs, with 88% of 18-35 year olds stalking their ex’s new partner or their current partner’s ex.
If you notice it’s becoming a habit… Do yourself a favour, and step away from the stalking. What starts as an innocent scroll, can swiftly turn nasty.