Personal and Professional “Stalkers”

Okay, let’s just be honest and say that most of us here has ever been a “stalker” at some point of our lives.  I don’t mean the type of stalkers that follows someone home or constantly calling a person who clearly does not want our attention, but someone who finds information of another person through online sources, and especially through social media.

Have you ever met someone who you’re really interested in, but have no idea what kind of person he/she is or what his/her interests are?

Sure you could ask mutual friends about him or get to know him slowly, but wouldn’t it just take a bit of a time for you to discover him/her?

Well, here is where social media comes in. After meeting that particular someone, you could go home and go online. You could browse his name, look through his Facebook account and find some part of his life from his pictures, interests and other personal information. You could go and look for his tweets and find out whether he follows celebrities or politicians. Whether he tweets about intellectual stuff or just about his personal life. Whether he takes his tweets seriously or he is a bit of a comedian.

Through social media, you could find out a whole lot about a person without even knowing the person in real life. You could even judge them, whether to like them or not, just by seeing what they post and what they don’t.

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However, stalking people online does not stop on a personal basis, it could even be utilised to a professional level.

I met a friend earlier this week who has gotten a job at a large corporation in Indonesia. He told me that his boss asked him to come along to a meeting a few weeks ago with one of the biggest potential investors of the company.

With him being quite new to the company, he told me that he still has so much to learn about the company itself, and when his boss asked him to come to meet the investor he has no idea about, he got a little bit freaked out.

Fortunately, Social Media was there to help. Once his boss told him about the meeting, he went home and did his homework. He did a background check on the investor. Yes, he got some major information from the investor’s Wikipedia page and some other online news, but he found his gold on the investor’s Twitter page.

Right through the investor’s twitter account, my friend found out about the investor’s love for Japanese dining, which leads him suggesting his boss to book the best Japanese dining in town.

The meeting went really well, with the investor fully satisfied with the food and presentation and my friend’s boss was impressed with my friend. And of course, they closed the night with a deal.

My personal opinion would say that social media could be really useful when it comes to one’s personal and professional life. Knowing about someone beforehand could be advantageous in order to know what to expect and what not when meeting them face to face. It is also a quick and easy way for us to be able to know someone without having to spend a lot of time or money. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes away the mystery and total experience of getting to know an individual and letting us jump into conclusion(s) that might not be necessarily true.

Also, stalking through social media has become somewhat normal. Many people are doing it, and are even admitting that they do stalk others on social media. I think the reason behind this is that there is a distance between the stalker and the person being stalked. The computer/phone screen becomes the barrier between the two subjects. Unlike stalking someone in real life, social media has given us “virtual” stalking. It has given the stalker freedom to stalk, but at the same time has given the stalked a sense of security, that the stalker is no where near him/her physically.

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So, what’s your take on this subject? Do you “stalk” someone before deciding to go on a date with him/her? Get a bit of a background check on your clients and potential clients to make your job easier? Or do you like it better for nature to take its course?

If you do consider yourself to be one of the online “stalkers”, to what extend do you think is normal online “stalking”? What would be appropriate and what would be not?

Share your thoughts down below ! 🙂

Cheers,

Val.

Here are some fun articles about online “stalking” :

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/10/top-3-signs-you-are-an-online-stalker/

http://arbiteronline.com/2013/09/16/cyber-stalking-much/

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/10/top-3-signs-you-are-an-online-stalker/

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23 thoughts on “Personal and Professional “Stalkers”

  1. I personally believe that in this digital era, we can maximize the existence of social media by getting some information for personal or professional purpose. As long as the person we are stalking on is opening his of her account to the public, it is acceptable that we can take the advantage of it wisely in an appropriate way and lastly, do not ever harm other people with the information you got. Use it in a good way…

  2. this article is so really trueeee.. nowadays, stalking on socmed is very common especially for girls who wanna know the information about her boy whom she loved, anyone girls in close to him, and about her competitor. but with socmed we can make our life is better than before.. stay update with you social media.

  3. Hi Ms. Valen! First of all I would like to say that this article seems very true to me and it also represents what the current society really is, I guess. Most of the time, when I just met new people or when I want to meet new people, I google their name first in case if I could find some valuable information to know about their characters, personalities and interests. Therefore, in the next meeting I can probably talk a bit of their interest and build a better relationship with them.

    Don’t be surprised because all things mentioned above are actually what I did to you when I first include you as one of the inspiring figures in my life. I admit I’m a big fan of you and your family
    In the beginning, I searched for your social media accounts and all related information about you. Then I started to follow them until now and today it leads me to this article 🙂

  4. Very good insight Valen 🙂 I’m sure a lot of people can relate to your article, either they are on the “stalker” side or the “victim” side, or BOTH.

    There is a huge different between stalking through social media and in real life. When you search for information through social media, the information is willingly provided by the person, where if you stalk a person in real life, that’s just purely a violation of privacy! Having said that, it is our own responsibility to protect our information in the cyber space, as to what extend we want people to know about us and if we allow strangers to have access to it.

    While “stalking” on social media is not a crime, what we do with the information is the real question. If the purpose for getting these information is to screen our potential bf/gf (for our own good), to get our job done, or even just to fulfill our curiosity, I think it’s OK. BUT, when we start to use that information to then create a fake account and impersonate her, to gossip and spread rumors, and such…. That is where we should draw the line.

  5. Stalking is stalking… in person or online its exactly the same … it’s stalking!!!! I’ve been subjected to both in the past (online and in person) … and its not fun. There is a very big difference between having a look at someone’s social media sites if they have them ‘open’ and the information is freely available. As you suggested, its particularly useful if you are meeting someone for the first time, either personally or professionally. It’s a whole other level when it gets to the stalking stage, and I’m sure we all know people who have both stalked others online and been stalked themselves online. There definitely is a line that can be very easily crossed online.

  6. Sometimes, I believe social media becomes stalker’s tool. The virtual reality can become reality and it might ruin your life such as “bullying” . I have read many articles about kids have bullying at school and especially on social media. It definitely influence to behaviour of children and impact on their lives, even suicide.
    Also, through the increased use of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Flicker, Foursquare, and YouTube, an individual’s profile, photos, and status updates may provide enough information for that person to become a potential victim of stalking without even being aware of the risk.

  7. i ownder if it’s a generational thing? i didn’t gorw up with technology, and trying to find out about anyone, e.g a prospectiv einterview for a job, feels like spying to me – but I do it anyway. The way I see it, it’s expected that I’ll try to find out as much as I can about the company and the people before the interview – it’s all aprt of my research, and i would not be doing due diligence if i didn’t

  8. Hello there!
    I think it’s late to join a comment, but still i wanna share a little bit of my voice here. 😀
    so, I’m a part of big stalkers and,. and a little nice hacker actually. No, I don’t have a bad willing to someone account like spreading the ugly things of them, or doing anything worse under their name. No. It such a wild coriousity of mine about what they really do with their online world. I could judge what kind of people they are by checking their inbox, etc. And some people that protect their acc won’t accept the unknown account. So sometimes i just use the friend’s of the people i get corious in account to be hack. Then by using this hacked account i can stalk the people i purpose to be stalked. And after i have done with it, i leave that account and let the true owner get theirs back. i need to say that im a nice hacker. Because I dont destroy. I keep the secrets that i found there. Because i just want to know deeper, in a different way than other people do. Then, any reply?

  9. I’m guilty of doing “stalking”. When I add someone new I even tell them “let me stalk you”. The thing with social media is, if you posted something online, then you should expect people to look at it. If you’re so private about your personal life then the simple solution is to don’t sign up for an account and contact your friends via phone conversations or SMS texting.

    You should watch a couple of episodes of “catfish”. if these people did some proper stalking maybe they wouldn’t be duped 🙂

  10. I think most of us have been guilty of doing this at certain points in of our social media life. If you take the simple precaution of locking everything down, this problem won’t exist.

    I’m not too sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, I just see it as the consequence of social media…

  11. Sure we’ve all been ‘stalkers’ at some point in our lives. Be it on a personal or professional level. Apart from stalking someone’s social media profiles prior to getting to know them personally, I’m sure we’ve all done our share of checking out people we don’t speak to very often but are on our ‘friends’ list. I don’t see why it’s a bad thing per say because this is one of the few consequences of social media, as long as we know our boundaries when stalking. No one wants to come across as being creepy now, would they.

  12. Hi – as a semi ex-professional stalker, I think it is just a little harmless fun to do a late night driveby, just to check whether the lights are on … but sm stalking is creepier than that! It is one thing to be wantonly devious, and public about it, and another thing to be smug about it as you do it in private. I know which one I see as more dangerous than the other …

  13. Honestly, everyone is doing it. no denial. The convenience of stalking without the person knowing that we are checking on them is just a blast. But to certain extent the idea of stalking can be creepy in a sense there are many people who might have misuse it for something bad such as kidnap, and rape? Ive seen so many incidents on the news that happened in my country. There will obviously pro and cons in regards to this issue.

  14. Hey Val,

    What is your opinion, if I check out people’s profile, their personal basic information in order for me to know more about the person, does it mean that I stalk that person? Well, sometimes, if that person is my close friend or if I find that person is interesting and I want to follow their recent updates, I usually subscribe to their newsfeed.. Am I stalking? Sometimes I am wondering, is there anybody stalk me? (I wish I have, it makes me feel good to have that kind of ‘fan’, hehehe) Or am I just being ‘weird’ doing these ‘stalking’ thing? Hehehe.. But, most people do these things, right, or even worst? So, I’m not the only ‘weird’ person :-)))

    • I guess that depends and it depends on how you define it too. If the person put up the information, he/she is willingly to be stalked then. Unless you constantly check out that person’s web page, that could be stalking, but then again it can still be considered as normal because in our modern day society, everyone does that. Viewing without leaving a mark or taking action could be harmless. But when the viewing gets you to spam on people’s wall, or actually follow the person physically, then i guess it becomes real stalking.

  15. If i may add to your blog regarding online stalking and real life stalking. In real life, no one really wants to be stalked. But in social media, I think personally, most of them want to be stalked although they might say they hate it. This is because in social media you can post or upload stuffs about you that you want people to know about and simply not to put stuffa tha p

  16. Continue – simply not to put stuffs that you dont what people to know about. Or you can set your profile privacy setting. To be honest i think a lot of people uses social media because they want to be stalked. Otherwise whats the point of twitting your thoughts if you dont want people to know it. Or whats the point of posting to public your whereabout if you dont want people to know where you are. To be stalked online is probably the only reason why people own a social media.

    • Yes, I have to agree that it has become normative for people to stalk online, and for people to want to be stalked. But I think there is a certain point where virtual stalking can become dangerous. When the stalker becomes obsessive over the victim, leaves a mark, or worse, put action unto it, then it will become too much. I am sure that the person stalked will not want that either.

  17. Interesting, the search of information about a person or a company online can be call “online stalkers”!! I google what is the definition of Stalking, here it is : Stalking is defined as a
    criminal activity consisting of the repeated following and harassing of another person.Stalking is a distinctive form of criminal activity composed of a series of actions that taken individually might constitute legal behavior. For example, sending flowers, writing love notes, and waiting for someone outside her place of work are actions that, on their own, are not criminal. When these actions are coupled with an intent to instill fear or injury, however, they may constitute a pattern of behavior that is illegal. Though anti-stalking laws are gender neutral, most stalkers are men and most victims are women.
    To me that if we are stalking people with attention to hurt them then whether in it is in real life or online are Criminal. But if only finding information about a person or a company for positive results, then I don’t think this should be call “stalkers”. For example: I often gave tips that the person I interviewed for a job is to find out more about our company online before the interviews and to my surprise 90% always said they did not have the time or they did, but they could not explained about our company (lies told). Made me wonder if a job is important to a person, can’t they spend time online stalking on our company he he he….still not used with the word online stalkers…!!

  18. Pingback: About Face | A Stroke of Life

  19. I found this article while trying to recruit new employees with a certain skill set. I am a private investigator and I specialize in background investigations, and all the rage now in insurance investigations is searching for social network site for people we are investigating. I am having trouble finding people skilled at this. Any ideas, where I can find people truly skilled at locating people’s social net sites based on very little information? We usually have only a name, a city, age and employment. Only on rare occasion do we have a photo. Any ideas would be appreciated.

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