But man, paranoia is striking quite deep of late. And it has nothing to do with diet pills or 'Saved by the Bell' reruns played in sync with Dark Side of the Moon. Come on, MyLinkedAlumniTwitLifeBookScape, don't you think things are getting a little out of hand?
Years ago, the daughters were on MySpace, and being the concerned parents we were, we joined as well. I got sucked into groups, started a blog, made MyFriends and had MyConversations with people around the world, pulled MyHeists in MyMafia and wrecked MyCar in MyStreetracing. Suddenly, it became all too junior high, and everyone I knew disappeared over to Facebook.
Which is where things actually got a little stalker-like. Facebook instantly suggested people I hadn't spoken to since high school, or in some cases, elementary school. For better or worse, I've linked to them, and gotten more requests from other people who found them, and I've linked back to the MySpace friends I cared about in the first place, along with some of you, dear readers. As of right now, I only have one person on the list that I can't identify, no matter how many old yearbooks I fan through. What's next? A friend suggested, long ago, that I check out MyLife, whose ads grace the sidebar of Facebook. Why she suggested it, I don't know. But despite my refusal to pay for social networking, and my generally slim participation in the existing social outlets, I still get teaser emails from them, telling me random facts about the people who searched for me. Based on the demographic info they've provided, I can almost guarantee that at least 75% of these people weren't looking for me when they typed my name into a search engine. And it does prove to be less than a perfect marketing tool, when the same four searches come up each time and they all happened two or three years ago.
I'm not opposed to Googling the whereabouts of an ex, or that girl I went on one date with in college, figuring that if they aren't completely hooked up to the matrix by a plug on the back of their skulls, they could be dead, and not all obituaries come up online. Perfectly acceptable to think they couldn't bear to pine their lives away for me anymore. But it doesn't mean I have any interest in reconnecting, I'm usually just curious about their arrest record or death by speeding locomotive.
But when I went to delete the MyLife spam the other day, I noticed it was different. Instead of "Look who's searching for you", they've added a twist: "Look who's searching for your significant other!" Think your spouse is cheating? Confirm that by throwing their junior high school boyfriend at them during a fight. "Who's this 23-year-old Male in Branson that searched for you in 2006?" That's constructive. Because if someone searches for you, obviously it's because you sent out that 'I'm available and yearning for your 7th grade hotness all over again...' vibe.
Just because I can eat an entire pumpkin pie in one sitting doesn't mean I should. Just because I can add bacon to something for .25 doesn't mean I should (but yes, I should, really.) Just because you have access to the Internet 24/7 doesn't mean you have to seek out those long-lost romances or the fat kid you picked on in 3rd grade. Stop making the planet smaller.
In theory, preying on people's innate paranoia isn't wrong, I just want in on the action. If I'd thought up CreepyStalkerInYourCloset.com, for example, I'd want advertisers to cough up big bucks. (And for the record, I did think up CreepyStalkerInYourCloset.com, I demand credit for it and all subsequent ideas contained in this paragraph.) People could go on there and search through the deleted items folder on their stalkee's computer, looking for keywords like 'I love my stalker' or 'she's the only one who gets me' or those shower photos that accidentally showed nipple (while they were afraid to wash their hair). You could then link to everyone linked to your
But make sure you keep it safe and above-board, people. Because if you do step out of line, maybe 'the man' will come to take you away. Then you'd better hope they offer Internet privileges in the pokey, and that CreepyStalkerInYourCloset.com isn't blocked.