I have a secret. It’s not something I’m proud of, nor is it something I ever planned on becoming, but I am a legitimate Facebook creeper.
My tendency to online stalk didn’t really explode into a genuine addiction until I started dating. As soon as this happened, I embarked on a no-holds-barred trolling of various profiles and websites to ascertain exactly who it was that had been there, and essentially, done that, before me. From what I can gather, this is a completely normal and relatively harmless pastime in small doses. However, the validation I require from a relationship, added to the type of semi passive-aggressive personality I have, means that I manically comb through a guy’s comprehensive relationship history until I can practically recite dates and facts. To put it simply, if there was a Who Wants to Be a Millionaire – Relationship Edition, I’d be rich.
It’s not that I’m a crazy person. It’s just that the existence of relationship baggage means that there are things I don’t know about the old you, the you that did things before us. Things you did with her that you’re now doing with me. When I think about this, I have an insane compulsion to know precisely what happened, why and how. And who she was to you. When Facebook offers me these things so much more succinctly than you do, can you really blame me for spending hours checking what she’s doing now, how many mutual friends we have and whether she has suddenly become hideous?
My somewhat sick fascination with online lurking can be chiselled down to the fact that I’m emotionally vested. I have to prove that I’m better; that I was the right choice. Hearts can be bruised dammit!
My closest friends naturally make the necessary supportive comments and criticisms. “God yes, she’s ugly. Is that a moustache?!” The worst part of creeping, however, is coming to the realisation that this ‘baggage’ may in fact be a legitimately good person with laudable goals and achievements. That perhaps she’s actually a pretty cool person who you could grab a coffee with.
At the end of the day, it is highly likely that most people I decide I’m interested in will have some kind of relationship baggage. Remnants of this will likely exist on Facebook, easily sought out by a dedicated stalker. However, I’ve learnt that baggage is something I have to accept and leave in the past. Carrying it around is exhausting and, as I’ve experienced, doesn’t bring about any healthy habits.
So Baggage, while it’s been good knowing you (not really), it’s time we all moved on.