Social media stalking culture

What I mean

First of all, to prevent people from getting scared by the title of this blog, let me specify what I mean by stalking. I’m not talking about creepily following people around at all times, but I’m talking about social media stalking. I’m sure most of us have done it, looking someone up on google, scrolling through their entire Instagram page going years back, checking their Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. People (and myself too) do this when they want to know something about someone before they meet them, or if they want to know someone better, or accidentally when they just click on a tagged post. I myself do this quite often, and a lot of people I know too. It can come in handy sometimes and even be quite fun. But actually, if you think about it, this is quite odd. Because actually what you are doing is digging into someone’s personal life without them knowing and without you really knowing them.


My heart drops and I instantly start sweating when this happens 🥲

♬ original sound – uglinablin

Normalization of social media stalking

It’s safe to say that in today’s society, social media stalking is quite normalized. Reading several blogs and forums online my expectations were confirmed (1,2,3): everyone does it, but that also means everyone is stalked, which is something we often forget. In today’s world information about people is so accessible, that is almost too easy to look someone up. This is something we sometimes forget when we post on social media ourselves. Stalking people on social media is something that comes from the curious nature of people, which is fulfilled more easily now then it did back in the days. I think that there is nothing wrong with this, and I also think it has become and incorporated part of our society. But I also think we should watch ourselves.

First of all, I think that stalking people online is something you can easily lose yourself in. I sometimes also find myself browsing through the depths of Instagram for hours. There is some much information about so many people that you can do this for hours. I also found other people that had this same problem, and for example setting timers for apps can help (1). It can really be addicting, says also a psychology expert in a article I read (4). Spending too much time at looking what other people do and are can make you feel sad about your own life. “We need to understand the impact that behaviour has and question why we’re doing it.”

I also think that stalking someone for too long before meeting them can make the interaction less pure. If you already know everything about someone before even meeting them, this can make the interaction really weird. Maybe it can even make us avoid real world interaction. What if you decide not to go on a date with someone because you already decided that you don’t like them based on their Instagram profile? That would be quite a shame, because someone’s online self can be really different from their real self.

What if I don’t want people stalking me?

I think that the best and only way of stopping people from stalking you or looking you up is to have as little online presence as possible. I think that as long as you post things online actively, people will be able to find you. That’s simply how it works in today’s online society. There also are several tips online that can help you hide your online presence a bit more from people that you don’t know, but I won’t go further into that. I

To conclude I think it is safe to say that the normalization of social media is real. I don’t necessarily think there is something wrong with doing a little bit of social media stalking, but it can get creepy. I think I will watch myself more with what I post online.