It starts with a simple swipe. You’ve matched this person and, from the looks of their profile, they’re a semi-functioning adult. They like books and you like books. They went to that festival you thought about going to but decided wasn’t worth the money. Sometimes they drink at the bar you’ve been to that one time.
Okay, that’s enough grounds to go on a first date with this person, right? But wait, their Instagram is linked to their profile. Maybe you’ll take a gander to ensure they are in no way murdery. That’s totally normal! Over to their page you go.
You’re twenty minutes into stalking their Instagram and about 105 weeks back. You’re moving your hands like a game of operation, praying you don’t accidently double tap anything. He likes dogs – that’s a good sign right? Oh hey, this girl is featured in a lot of his photos. What significance do you think that has? Maybe you should click through to her profile just to be sure.
Another ten minutes and you’re 100 weeks back in this girl’s profile and you have confirmed proof. “Baseball game with bae!” the photo is captioned. Wow, don’t they look cute together…I wonder what went terribly awry here. Maybe Twitter has the answer; people are always weirdly honest on Twitter.
So, here you are, Googling his name and Twitter and there you have it: his profile is public and available for stalking. Woah, he had weird political views in 2012—do you think they’ve changed since then? Eugh, he’s retweeting memes; that will not do. Oh, here’s what I was looking for: a string of vaguely sad tweets depicting some sort of loss around two years ago. This isn’t really giving me much though, maybe I need to bring out the big guns: Facebook.
Now you’re officially an hour into stalking, you now know he has family in San Francisco, has been to Mexico twice in the past three years and is a die-hard Reggae fan. He posts New York Times articles with odd frequently without making any definitive opinionated statement. But you still don’t know what he does for a living. Off to LinkedIn.
Okay, so he’s been gainfully employed as a financial analyst for the past three years, has an undergraduate degree in economics and speaks two languages. You’ve determined he definitely isn’t murdery.
Your phone buzzes. Looks like mystery man has sent you a message. Oh, he wants to hang out Tuesday. He seems cool enough, so you agree. Now you just have to mentally prepare yourself to pretend you know absolutely nothing about him on this date. Simple enough, you’ve been here before. The question becomes: do you even want to meet him anymore?