Now, I FIIIIIIIIINALLY get to the part about why *I* E-Stalk. 🙂
First of all, it’s FUNNNNN!!! 😀
I really enjoy reading about what people think about themselves and comparing that to my impressions of them. It’s so interesting when someone attractive thinks they’re not, or when someone smart thinks they’re stupid. It’s fun to see what people devote their time and energy to. Actually, I did this to myself just yesterday. I was watching my iTunes feed on my iPod, and other than a couple of Rock Band videos, the entire feed as of late has been videos from blog.blip.tv. Well… My Indy Mogul video took quite a bit of my creative energy recently, but the point is that I didn’t realize how my stream had changed until I scanned through the videos in a row. Doing the blip videos pretty much covers my intersest in being creative and outputting content, so without knowing it, I shifted my focus. So I learned about myself by accidentally E-Stalking myself by watching my own iTunes feed.
Second, I find people to be more realistic when they’re posting to the internet than they are in f2f conversation. Not that people are lying, but as I said in one of the other parts, we tend to talk to each other about things that we have in common, which means we’re actually talking about the subset of things that WE BOTH KNOW we have in common. This is a very limited range and actually limits people’s relationships if they don’t strive to understand more about the people they’re socializing with. E-Stalking is fantastic for this. When people are talking to ‘nobody’, or perhaps talking to themselves in print, they go wherever they go. They’re not restrained by what someone else is going to think is cool or interesting or acceptable. It’s a much more interesting trip to spend a few hours reading about someone and gathering the bread crumbs they leave on the net than to sit in front of someone and expect them to be up-front with you with stuff like that off the bat. For instance, a chick might be The Freak Of The Week (extremely sexual), but when you meet her, she’s not going to bring that up. I’ll bet you she posted that TO THE INTERNET, though! 😀
Another reason to E-Stalk is to become aware of a LACK of information about somebody. Let’s say someone walks up to you at a Social Media gathering and tells you they do a certain type of business. Let’s say they claim to have clients. Let’s say you google them and you can’t find ONE client of theirs in some form of internet representation, and you can’t even find a resume for them. In this day and time, you’re going to be extremely suspicious of that person and way less likely to take their word for things.
E-Stalking is useful for dating as well. You’d be surprised at the information available at our fingertips about people’s girlfriends/boyfriends they were hiding, KIDS they didn’t want to bring up when they were making up this rosy relationship y’all were going to have… If you show up on Maury *NOW*, you’re an idiot, because there are just too many ways to find out that six other dudes hit it that same week. Twitter, Facebook broken hearts, Flickr sets, Paparazzi video, Text blogs, iChat status updates….. Last season, a couple of breakups occurred and I found out about them the same day without having ANY contact with ANY of the people involved. Same thing with people becoming an item without announcing it. This is Social Media… “Welcome To The Show!” 😀
E-Stalking accelerates your ability to relate to people as well. If you have to wait for them to tell you stuff, you don’t get to think about it and formulate topics to discuss with them. It’s like Black & White Television… out of style. When I’m interested in someone, I want the dossier… YESTERDAY! I need to get up to speed on the perp. When I run out of E-Stalking information, *then* I have to go to the source to take it to the next level.
Everything means something. Maybe not on its own, but when lined up with the rest of a person’s media, you get a vector… Where they were… Where they went from there… Where they’re heading in the future. Did they gain or lose weight? Did they cut their hair or grow it long? Did they get into or out of a relationship? Are they developing confidence in themselves or are they stuck in the same rut month after month? Do they understand their own potential? How sheltered have they been? Did they change their names? How much do they understand about how things work in the real world? How much of their brainwashing have they shunned with the goal of determining what’s right for them on their own?
E-Stalking’s really great, because you get to see what people show you without intending to. Granted, what you’re reading is STILL crafted by that person. It’s still the portion of themselves they’re willing to put on the net and doesn’t come anywhere near to describing the true depths of their personalities. It’s still a lot more than you’ll get from looking someone in the eye and clinking a brew with them, and that’s what makes it so fascinating.