Cyberstalking and the Death of Mystery

June 1, 2012 § 7 Comments

Imagine if your grandmother could have known infinitely more about your grandfather before the first time he took her out for a malt down at Walt’s Famous Malt’s.  Imagine if she could have looked at his thoughts, prior actions, friends, and hundreds of photos before he took her to Lover’s Lane on that fateful Fourth of July?  Imagine, if you will, that she could have grasped all of that knowledge about your sweet old grand pappy days before the first time she grabbed his balls at the picture show?

If all of that were true and all of that were possible, you and your dumb parents might have never existed.  The world of cyber stalking may just be ruining courtship in America and killing future sons and daughters, that may grow up to be Presidents, doctors, lawyers, or Groupon employees.

Can we all just sit back and chill for a minute and stop investigating everybody that we meet on the internet?  Yeah, I know, you’re scared that the person might be a psycho or a serial killer because the odds of that are pretty high.  I know that personally I have been assaulted, accosted, and murdered seven times from blind dates and online dates.  It’s a real fucking danger, I tell ya.

I once made the mistake of posting my OkCupid username online and now when you do a search for it on the Google, you’re just a couple of clicks away from this blog and everything else about me, basically.  My twitter, my Facebook, and my ridiculous life.  Sure, for some maybe that would be a benefit, but frankly I don’t want someone to know that much about me before we even meet.

What ever happened to a little bit of mystery?  To getting to reveal yourself one layer at a time?  Damn it, if you’re just biting into onions, your breath stinks and you’re doing it wrong.

The internet is pretty awesome.  It has given us e-mail, and porn, and Charlie bit my finger, and LOLCATZ.  I fucking love the internet, I’m using that bitch right now.  But with every awesome samurai sword comes an edge.  An edge so sharp, it’ll cut your heart out and display it for the world to see.  It’s given us the power to share our experiences with strangers of the world, but at the same time…. ITS GIVEN US THE POWER TO SHARE OUR EXPERIENCES WITH THE STRANGERS OF THE WORLD!

Last night I had a date.  Or at least, I thought I had a date.  Until three hours before the date when she cancelled because of “crazy personal stuff” and that was that.  Which is entirely possible, but is it entirely probable?  I have “crazy personal stuff” happen to me about once every four years.  To be fair, I don’t have a whole lot of family and close friends, so I guess that’s pretty dependent on how much “crazy personal stuff” is possible to happen on a daily basis, but let’s just say that the probabilities are always low.

The part that sucks is that “crazy personal stuff” is a great excuse because what if she really did?  What if her grandfather died?  You can’t call a person out on that!  I wasn’t really butthurt about it because I do not know this girl and I happily move on to the next one, but it did get me thinking about this crazy Al Gore invention known as “world wide web.”

There was also the possibility that she had Googled my username, came across something she didn’t like, and said “I gotta get outta this!”  I’m not saying that it was the case, but I at least have to consider the possibility and what it’s going to do for my online reputation if I ever try to setup another date from that website with that username.

Or there is the other solution: Stop satiating your curiosity about every Harry Tom Dick that you meet on the internet and leave a little bit of mystery to be unraveled.

I have put myself out there online for the simple fact that it is what I choose to do.  And true enough, if you don’t like it than it was never meant to be.  But I also don’t want people to think that this is all me.  That what I put on this blog, or on Jen Friel’s blog, or on a Seahawks blog, is the 100% representation of Kenneth.

I don’t even go by the name Kenneth around my friends and family!

These days, we take for granted how every generation before us got to know each other: by asking each other questions.  By hearing it from the horse’s mouth.  By seeing what they were like in real life.  By human interaction!

Don’t ask me if I’m on Facebook before we meet and don’t ask to see my blog and just trust that I won’t eat your face at Starbucks.  It’s the same “risk” that your parents took when they first decided to meet at the disco tech after work.  It is the same “risk” that your grandparents took when he first asked her to have sex with him before he went off to Germany.  It is the same “risk” that your great grandmother took when her pappy dropped her off at your great grandfather’s shack and said “this is your husband now.”

Society changes and we adapt, but we’ve gone too far with cyberstalking.  We’ve taken it to a level where there might not even be future generations to adapt again because we got to know every single thing about a person before we ever saw them in public.  Yeah, I’ve got some faults.  I’m far from perfect.  I have had a lot of bad date experiences and they aren’t something I’d share with you the first time that we met.  But damn it, there’s more to me than just that.  You have to let a person show you the balance.  You have to let a person show you the good so that you can understand and handle the bad.  You can’t judge me based solely on what I’ve done on the internet.

If we judged people based on their internet actions alone, then we’re all fucked.

Let’s let please leave a little bit of mystery to it all and remember that behind the words and pictures we put up in cyberspace, we are people.  These words are just a limb, so please know there’s a lot more to me than just that.

 

 

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§ 7 Responses to Cyberstalking and the Death of Mystery

  • Karmic Diva says:

    You hit home with a lot of this. My user name on the dating site was very similar. A google search made me realize I have to be lots of different people on the internet and they should all have their own name. I deleted my profile and created one with a different user name. It’s all good now I think. Better to be safe than sorry.

  • Pink Ninjabi says:

    Very insightful and true. I often feel there are too many sides to me that my blog is just one aspect. My self-deprecating, overly critical, insecure, and fault finding self. Yup. Cause otherwise, I’m actually quite cheerful. I have lost friends because of them insisting on reading my blog, only to discover TMI, and so now I REFUSE to break my anonymity.

    Thank you for sharing. :D

    Pink.

  • Andrew says:

    Face eating huh? Very topical. I like it.

  • Dustin says:

    Met my wife in the middle of the woods(no joke)(also I am not Jason Voorhes) and the first time I checked her facebook page was probably after dating her for 6 months, the way I found stuff out about her was I asked her. Oh and I also asked her brother what kind of flowers she likes.
    Take it upon yourself to introduce yourself and talk to 10 random women in a week. Hi I’m Kenny nice to meet you, and then go all NP flow on her, but don’t rap. That has been your fortune cookie of the day! Your lucky numbers are 8 28 27 82 77.

  • Hello Kenneth, I learned the hard way about online privacy and cyber stalking. We really provide too much personal information online and the internet has opened up opportunities for cyber stalkers that were not there in the time of our grandparents. I had never me my stalker who lived hundreds of miles from my home. When I read anything negative about anyone else online i really do take it with a grain of salt these days.
    Elizabeth Clarke

  • Matt says:

    Interesting thing is its not only people taking an interest in finding out the background on others but when there are crazy people out there as well who steal photos of others and impersonate them on a personal vendetta. Seen this happen in the last couple of years including one guy who’s been doing this sort of thing since 2005.

    I will be honest though I generally don’t look up anyone on the web though as I would rather not know. Especially when it comes to work as Facebook etc. are peoples personal lives. Or more importantly often aren’t their real lives either but thoughts and hobby addictions.

  • That is a thought provoking article. Checking someones background online is already standard practice for many HR departments when you apply for a job. There is a saying about first impressions but now they might be online before meeting face to face.

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