Why Everyone Needs To Just Accept That They’re A Giant Creeper On The Internet

Secret Internet Behavior (S.I.B.) is a serious issue with our generation. There’s you and then there’s “I’m on the Internet doing really #dark things and no one can see me!” you. Is there anything more revealing than your Google searches? I’m thisclose to deleting predictive text from my computer. God forbid one of my friends uses my computer one day to Google something and they find that I’ve been Googling my ex-boyfriend. I think we can all agree that our Internet history can often be embarrassing and shameful. We use the Internet during vulnerable times and bask in its anonymity. As a result, we go to the most sinister corners of the Internet, places that could expose us for the freaks that we really are.

I suppose the comforting thing about this is that we ALL do it. We all do things on the Internet that are meant to be kept secret. In my freshman year of college, I spent an obscene amount of time Googling L.A. socialites like Cory Kennedy. I’m really glad I’m at a place in my life where I can even admit that because it is so hilarious and sad. I’ve since met some of those L.A. girls and have had to bite my tongue in regards to telling them that I used to lurk them ALL THE TIME. Imagine if you got real with the person you lurk the most. Would it go something like this?

Person Who You Lurk: Hi my name is—

Me: Samantha, I know. I’ve been lurking you since ’06.

Person Who You Lurk: Oh, thanks! What else do you know about me?

Me: I know you went to Crossroads in L.A. and are BFF with all of these L.A. socialite girls. You dated so-and-so for like two years but you recently broke up.

 Person Who You Lurk: Ugh, it’s been really hard. Thanks for noticing.

Me: I think you went to rehab for awhile because you stopped updating your blog and tweeting.

 Person Who You Lurk: Yeah, I was going to Hampshire but I left because of a coke problem.

Me: Are you better now?

Person Who You Lurk: Well, I’m back on the Internet, aren’t I? How bad could I be?

Me: Good point! I also noticed that you had a falling out with your BFF because the two of you have a decreased internet presence lately. What’s going on?

Person Who You Lurk: I just hate her.

Me: Okay! Well, this conversation felt really good. I’m glad I didn’t pretend to not who you were. I’ve spent hours lurking you on the Internet.

PersonWho You Lurk: Gee, thanks! Yeah, pretending that we don’t lurk each other is annoying. This isn’t 1997. We know everything about everyone, especially people we’ve never met but have lots of mutual friends in common.

Me: Right? I’m going to take a picture of you tonight and add you on Facebook and write on your wall and tweet at you. Does that sound fine?

Person Who You Lurk: Yes! I might not follow you back on Twitter but I’ll definitely accept your Facebook friend request.

Me: Awesome

Wow. Wouldn’t that be so amazing if such a conversation actually occurred? Just typing that out, I feel like I lost 10,000 pounds of Internet shame. I had a gastric bypass basically.

We all walk around feeling like we’re psycho for the things we do online. But let’s stop feeling weird, shall we? EVERYONE DOES IT. NO ONE TALKS ABOUT IT. It’s like Fight Club or having an eating disorder. Take solace in knowing that there is someone out there who lurks you AND has their ex-boyfriend from high school in their internet history. We need to remove the stigma and face the creeper music. As long as the Internet exists, we’re going to continue knowing things we technically shouldn’t. You’re not alone in this. Everyone is just as creepy as you are. Next time you meet someone who you’re already aware of from online, I dare you to be honest about it. Consider it to be like The Big Internet Lurking Challenge: Getting real about getting creepy. TC mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

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  • Clara

    YES! This.

  • http://twitter.com/NukeSpoon Crispy Frontboat

    oh hi you’re sally right

    you’re pretty near the top of the list in terms of number of times i jerked off to your picture

    do you like my little pony the animation is fantastic

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ICOAYHGEZCDBVXNJYQWGOWH3FY Ziya

    I’ve got my list of regular people i stalk, which can be divided into the ones i actually have on my friends list and the ones who aren’t. Oh, the joyous moment when you find someone successfully and their profile is on semi-public or.. gasp.. entirely public! Full access to their wall posts, photos, Likes, education and work history. Then they have their links to their tumblr, twitter and sometimes even blog links. There have been many times when my friends and i have said something along the lines of “there’s this girl on Facebook … ” and 5 minutes later we realise we are stalking the same people. 

    There have been quite a few times when i’ve seen people out on the streets and thought ‘that person looks familiar. Do i know her/him? Oh shit… they’re from Facebook’. And i feel really weirded out because i know things they’ve done in the past, what they’re studying, where they work at and their relationship problems. But it gets worse when i’m introduced to that person and have to pretend i don’t know anything. “So.. what are you studying?”

    • guest

      It’s embarrassing when they show up first on your facebook search box when you’re not even friends with them. As a creep, I hate that facebook feature.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ICOAYHGEZCDBVXNJYQWGOWH3FY Ziya

        Yet another reason for me to not give out my password to anyone. That feature is a really shameful reminder. On the other hand, it provides fast access. Oh dear…

  • Anna

    Truth! I wish it were socially appropriate to own up to my facebook stalking! :) Ryan, your posts are my favorites!

  • sandra

    I just think its hilarious that i know stuff about people that don’t know who i am and even more hilarious when its people who don’t make eye contact with me when I walk past them at uni, and yet they were the ones that added me on facebook!  

  • afdsa

    just pretend you can read their mind or something

  • CaptG-B

    “EVERYONE DOES IT. NO ONE TALKS ABOUT IT. It’s like Fight Club or having an eating disorder.”

    This.

    • http://twitter.com/undeux3voila Gen

      This.

      • Tyrone

        This.

      • Hannah

        This.

      • ALEX

        This.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1690980049 Uchenna Anyiam

    “Everyone does it. No one talks about it. It’s like Fight club.” 

  • http://twitter.com/catedeleon Cate de Leon

    Truth.

  • stefyania

    I feel so silly when people tell me stories about their day and they tweeted and wrote on tumblr  about every task. I nod and pretend I didn’t see every picture and check-in. What do you do? can’t say “I know, I saw thanks.” what else is new with you? 

    • Guies

      I say “I know, I saw you put it on FB”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    When people say ‘lurkers’ I always think of what Hydralisks evolve into in SC:BW

    • Dideeyay

      holy shit

  • http://twitter.com/keithpinthecity Keith Pence

    I was on a date recently and I was talking about my sister and how she was the most attractive in the family.  The guy I was on the date with proceeded to say, “Yea she is gorgeous, I saw her pics on your facebook.”  Part of me was freaked out (because we weren’t facebook friends), but the other part of me was totally ok with what he did because I did the exact same thing.  Everyone does it – it’s just a matter of talking about it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=420818 James Morgan

    I follow a lot of people on Tumblr who are artsy fartsy in NYC and Philly and it’s always weird when I see them at events and I want to act formerly acquainted, but then I remember Tumblr isn’t a real place. It’s only real in my heart. 

  • Anonymous

    Someone got real about getting creepy with me this summer!! I was drunk at Virgin Fest so I took the whole “Hi, I’m Li-” “I know” as more of a compliment in the moment. But when sobriety returned to me, I remembered he’s barely in my generation. BUT then I was all, “Wait a tic Liz. Didn’t you just creep on your high school crush’s FB profile to make sure his ‘about me’ section still contained lyrics to that one Flaming Lips song that forever bonds you two (in YOUR mind)?? Yes. Yes you did.” So I’m living in a glass house. Plus it’s not like he threw out a highly invasive comment pertaining to information on any of my social media outlets. Just my name.

  • Kennneth

    Dude, this is why you got to get Chrome with the ol’ incognito window. It’s useful for many, many reasons. Well, mostly for looking at weird porn and doing other weird creepy shit. 

  • Sophia

    lol I literally read this right as I’m going through really old wall posts, backtracking on someone’s Facebook wall.

    everyday I’m creepin’

    • guest

      ahh, backtracking. I’m always terrified I’ll accidentally click ‘like’ on one of their posts from 2007…

      • Sophia

        THAT HAPPENED TO ME ONCE. On my phone I accidentally ‘liked’ a three-year-old picture of someone I barely knew. Ohhhh the shame burns so hot

  • Eriu

    My girls, TLC, taught me, “So I creep. Just keep it on the down low. ‘Cuz no one else supposed to know…”

  • http://twitter.com/tannnyaya Tanya Salyers

    this is so fantastic, i hate running into people and they are like oh yea i know this and this about you…obviously creepers!

    • Brenna

      The whole point of this is that Everyone is a creeper… haha. Well aren’t you popular.. hahaha.

  • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

    If your ex-bf is the worst thing in your search history, Ryan, you are officially the least creepy dude on the internet.

  • Sdfskh

    actually i feel like creeping has helped me develop friendships i would normally feel lost in. getting a taste of what people like, who they hang with, where they go allowed me to open conversations in a passive way. also knowing if you should date a person, or what to do/say to spark interest in another person doesnt hurt either…

  • Aaaa

    LOL crossroads

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    challenge accepted

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