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Rule #6: Spend Your Time Wisely

Posted Sep 02 2010 5:25am

It’s no secret that I’m a pretty big fan of the internet. I feel so fortunate to be alive during a time when we are afforded such endless possibilities for such little cost. But there’s one thing that I cannot handle, and that’s the way it’s allowed everyone to start acting so batshit crazy, stalking each other.

Now, to be clear, I’m not talking about Facebook creeping on some dude you gave your number to at a party last weekend. That’s fine. That sort of stalking is part of the world we live in; it’s to be expected and you can own it. I actually wrote an article for TechCoquette about how to let on you’ve been stalking someone . We’re all pretty plugged in…there’s no shame in that.

But I’m talking about actively seeking out information about people you barely know…when you know it’s only going to make you feel bad.


When I was in college, I’d sit in the common areas of my sorority house and listen to girls Facebook stalk for hours. HOURS. These were smart, talented, driven women…and for some reason, they chose to spend their time looking at people they barely knew. And I wish it had ended with college, but it didn’t.

And of course, it’s usually all about boys.

Dude stalking involves looking at a guy’s profile on a regular basis and analyzing his Wall, photos, and status updates. You may actually be dating or you may just think you’re dating; you may have just hooked up or you may have just broken up. In any case, you’re not secure in the relationship. So you use Facebook as a way to make yourself more insecure. You question everything he’s doing and stress about his updates or lack thereof. And once you’ve started dude stalking, that leads us to…

Chick stalking was what really bothers me. In college, I’d watch as girls clicked through hundreds of tagged photos to check out the other girls they suspected of having some sort of relationship with their male target. They’d talk about the other girls’ dating histories, appearances, and sex lives. And they. Were. Mean.

Chick stalking was what made me truly uncomfortable. I don’t like listening to women talk shit on each other like that. And what bothered me the most was that I knew that in every sorority house and dorm, there were other girls doing the same things — but looking at pictures of my friends and me, talking shit for no reason except that the guy that was at the center of this couldn’t man up and say to either girl, “I don’t want to be exclusive with you.” Or maybe he had, and the girls couldn’t woman up and accept that for what it is .

In either case, it led to a lot of Peeing on the Wall – a term I made up at the time to describe how girls write on guys’ Walls with the sole intention of marking their territory and scaring away other girls.

Now, you may be happily married and done with the dating scene, so you might be beyond Facebook stalking your prey. But there’s another type of stalking that I can’t stand, and that’s blog stalking…when you hate the blogger.

All the Hollaback bloggers can tell you that I come out pretty strongly against hate following and shout this via e-mail on occasion. I just don’t get it. People spend hours reading blogs for the sole purpose of hating on them. Wait…what?

Why?

Oh, do you not have anything else to do? You just need to spend an hour a day reading about the daily life of a person whose daily life you don’t really like? You follow them on Twitter so you can e-mail their Tweets to all your friends with bitchy comments? You want to be the first to know if they get good news that will automatically piss you off? So you hate them…and yet you’re putting money in their bank because every time you go to their blog, their ads get a hit.

Um, why?

Seriously…why?

I doubt you’re bored. Most women I know aren’t actually ever bored. They have really full, rich, busy lives. They don’t have enough time for themselves. No time to work out! No time to cook! No time to find a better job! No time to relax and unwind!

But plenty of time to stalk.

I was never that drawn to stalking, but the day I logged onto Facebook and saw the guy I was in love with kissing another girl in a photo on my Mini-Feed was the day I gave it up. Sure, knowing is better than not knowing — that’s why now I just put on my big girl panties and tell guys what I want . I keep people who have the power to hurt me via status update removed from my feed. Sometimes I just de-friend them.

And while I love making new friends via Twitter and Facebook (fo realz — holler at me), I don’t accept friend requests from girls when the only friend we have in common is a dude I’ve hooked up with or girls who are BFFs with girls I know don’t like me. You actually think I believe you want to be friends? Yeah…you don’t. And I’d prefer to not give you my profile as fuel to the toxic conversations I know you and your friends are having. Sorry I’m not sorry.

Fact: I choose not to seek out things that would make me angry, upset, annoyed, or mean. I choose not to seek out ways to tear other women apart. So I choose not to stalk.

Fact: I am a productive member of society because I don’t stalk.

Fact: The time I could spend stalking I put into my own projects, which is why I have such a nice resume.

Fact: If you’re wondering why you aren’t getting everything you want out of life…and yet you’re committing a large chunk of time to doing something that not only doesn’t help you, but it actually makes you feel worseyou are ridiculous .

Fact: If you spend precious time during your day to actively follow the life of someone you don’t know, who has never done anything to you, and would probably be your friend in a different context…just to talk shit about her…you are also ridiculous. And kind of a bitch.

I guess because I’m tech-savvy, people think I’d know the best way to snoop on a guy…and I don’t. Because I’m pretty ballsy, people think that I’d be the first person to hate follow…and I’m not. When a friend comes to me with the details she’s found out about the “other woman” expecting me to get all worked up on her behalf…she is disappointed.

The other day, my mom sent me the link to this article about a woman whose body was found in her boyfriend’s chimney . She was trying to break into his place. She was a doctor.

People — that is tragic.

If you have to stalk a guy — or other girls as you pursue a guy — then your relationship sucks. And if you and they guy are over, then really, you’re wasting your time and just being crazy. Let’s talk about moving on.

If you read blogs you don’t like just to be snarky, then you need something to do. Let’s talk about ways to make your blog better.

I have a hard time believing that any woman reading my blog right now is anything but exceptional. I can assume that most of you have really good lives that are worth living and dreams worth pursuing. So don’t waste your time in front of a computer, feeling bitter or insecure. Don’t be That Girl.

Just your friendly Thursday morning reminder!

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