Since I’ve started this blog, I’ve gotten quite a few messages like these ones:
“Thomas, I love your blog! Your posts remind me of cotton candy and bath towels. I hope you don’t think I’m a stalker.” – anonymous commenter.
“Your post about high school relationships really made me reevaluate my own romantic tendencies. You’re so lucky you only date fictional characters – obviously Alec Lightwood, Mr. Rochester, Sam Roth, etc. belong to you. Sorry for creeping, ha ha.” – some nice person who recognizes what/who is rightfully mine.
“Not to be a total creeper but I am astounded by your lack of a life. Go back to reading books or something, this blog is just plain bad.” – my self-esteem.
Okay, obviously none of those are true quotes
besides the last one. But they all share a common theme – people apologize or feel awkward for reading my blog. Due to society’s standards, people express a sense of shame for looking at my work.
I understand this. People hear about online stalkers or internet creeps all the time. This sinks into their subconscious. They get the notion that if you’re looking at somebody else’s information online without telling them, you’re being a “stalker” or a “creep.”
Which might be true. By definition, to creep is to “approach slowly, imperceptibly, or stealthily.” To stalk is to “proceed in a steady, deliberate, or sinister manner.” If you’re carrying out the more negative meaning of stalking, such as compiling information to hurt someone, that’s not okay.
But being a “stalker” or a “creeper” in itself is fine! Just because someone puts up random personal pictures of themselves on Facebook all the time does not mean you can’t look at them. Just because I write about heavy subjects that hit close to home does not mean that you can’t read my posts. People post Facebook photos so that other people can see them – why do apps like Instagram exist, if it’s not to enhance the attractiveness of photos people can share through social networking? Why do people feel insecure when their photos and posts aren’t liked or commented on?
As for my blog, I publish material here to express myself and receive feedback as well as other opinions. I don’t publish material on this blog to sit and stare at my computer screen while no one reads it.
There is this predetermined notion in society that looking at someone else’s pictures or their personal information is wrong. It’s like people have this perverse sense of superiority that they can resist looking at their friends’ Facebook photos – when, in reality, we’re simply curious creatures by nature who enjoy getting to know each other better. Social animals, sort of. We all need to accept that there’s nothing wrong with lurking around the internet for our amusement and for the purpose of enhancing our knowledge of other people. If an individual wished to keep their things to themselves, they could simply use the private setting on their pictures or posts – or, they could get a scrapbook. Or a diary.
Let me reiterate: if you are obsessively looking at and searching for someone’s information to harm them, hurt them, or steal from them – that’s not okay. Otherwise, they put themselves out there so you might as well go for it.
Agree or disagree? Thoughts? Any experiences in which you felt like a creeper or a stalker? I recently got a Formspring, which was the cause of much controversy awhile ago. Feel free to creep on me there!
Here are some fictional quotes that would actually make me concerned for my safety:
“Thomas, the next time you say the world ‘pulchritudinous’, I am going to set fire to your bookshelf. And your socks.” – menacing old lady.
“Thomas, I am aroused by the way your eyelashes flutter when you sleep at night.” – Eduardo Cull.