It is no secret that the internet has provided people everywhere the convenience of socializing without even going outside. The advent of social media has been pivotal in bringing people in society a bit closer. With sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, people get to meet and get to know others who they normally would not come across otherwise. Geography and distance take a backseat as a lot of people now meet online. It is now literally easier to get to know a friend by visiting their Facebook profile than by planning on visiting them in their home so far away. Yet with the increasing convenience and ease that these features give comes a danger that many have been familiar with -stalkers.
When friendliness becomes creepy
A lot of people have been victims of online stalking and readily to admit that the experience was never pleasant. Though there are a lot of friends to be had by visiting and using popular social media sites, there are also a lot of things to watch out for.
Stalkers have been around for quite a while now, and assuming that they came with the rise of the usage of social media is outright misleading. Yet with the rise of the number of internet users, the online community cannot help but be plagued with a lot of stalkers. Many of these stalkers are quite harmless and are limited to incessant profile viewing, but there are also a considerable number who turn out to be felons.
In using social media and other sites, it is always good to protect one’s privacy and be aware of potential stalkers. The tricky thing about online stalkers is that early on they seem like decent and friendly people. Sooner or later though, that friendliness gives way to downright being creepy. In staying clear from stalkers online, it is important to note people who are overly friendly, especially when they are strangers. People normally recognize social spaces and respect boundaries. People who tend to develop into stalkers usually do not share this respect for space and boundaries.
Subtle red flags
A lot of online stalkers do not have to be overly friendly to be stalkers. In fact, a very large number of stalkers over the internet are introverts who do not know how to socialize very well. This tends to cause this kind of person to just look up someone’s details instead of be-friending and asking them. These are the kind of people that add their victims in social media despite not being friends in real life. Though a lot of stalkers are people that victims already know, strangers are more likely to develop into stalkers because they usually do not have any mutual acquaintances with their victims.
Subtle red flags that can say that someone online may be a stalker involve being very active in the platforms that his or her victim is in. Liking the same pages and even participating in the same forums and discussions can be telltale signs that they are up to something. After that, it would also be very pathognomonic to catch them following and watching their victims’ photos and videos and any other posts in social media. Also very obvious signs are chatting and relentlessly annoying their victims. Also, asking inappropriate questions and being very casual about private matters are other red flags to be watched out for.
Alarming stalker behaviors
Stalkers are rarely bold enough to reveal themselves to the ones they are stalking, so when they do things that they usually do not do, it would be cause for much alarm and caution. Things like showing up mysteriously where someone works or lives is something that should be reported immediately. Stalkers should be confronted when caught doing these things. A lot of the stalkers claim that they want to get to know the people they are following and that they merely want to be friends-this is no reason to stalk someone, and they should be reported to the proper authorities.
Though stalkers can be thwarted and reported, there are those that are harder to deal with. The best way to go about it would be to avoid them altogether. Avoiding a stalker is something that can be done by simply keeping one’s social media presence and overall internet presence limitedly visible to only familiar people.