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/