On any given night you can find me sitting cross-legged on my tie-dye bedspread, nervously twirling my long brown hair around my right index finger, biting my remaining nails in anticipation and cautiously looking over my shoulder to make sure my roommates aren’t around.
When I’m sure I’m alone, I plop my MacBook onto my lap, sign in to Facebook and Twitter and begin to shamelessly stalk my ex-boyfriend. Don’t judge me.
I’m still completely in love (infatuated?) with him and we live upwards of 700 miles apart. Why? Because of the damn Internet. I couldn’t get rid of him even if I wanted to. And what’s worse is, I know he Internet stalks me, too. He sends me text messages regarding things I post on Twitter.
Tweet: “Hanging out with friends in the Lower East Side. $4 frozen margaritas.”
Text: “$4 margaritas, huh? Having fun in NYC I gather?”
Note: I hadn’t spoken to this boy since I asked him to say “goodbye” to me when I left for the city (he didn’t show up) and I hadn’t seen him since we hung out to “talk” about being friends (we had sex in his car; he had/has a girlfriend).
And Millennials don’t find this weird because…?
Using the Internet to indulge every lovesick whim and chemically imbalanced addiction is like being a sex addict living with a hooker. Or a chocoholic working at Hershey. The Internet leaves your vice free to entice 24/7, 365 as long as you’ve paid your Comcast bill. It’s virtual S&M.
What do you do after you meet or break up with someone? You Google them, of course. That’s just how it is – but all it creates are paranoid and pissed off people. Whenever you post something online, don’t you always wonder who’s going to read it and then get mad when they don’t?
When Heroin Boy texted me about what he saw on my Twitter, I wanted to throw up a little bit. In a way, I was flattered. I felt like I had “won” my fictional war against his new girlfriend. I felt triumphant because I knew he was still Googling me.
But then I felt kind of sick because I realized my feelings of victory were really just technology-channeled ego. I had been waiting for his text message like a Sookie waiting for a Bill to come save her…again…gag me.
Actually, the cast of True Blood is an excellent case study of how technology encourages the darker side of human relationships, particularly if we see the undead vampires as a metaphor for how the Internet creates cyborg people whose skin screams for sunlight and/or a hobby. It really isn’t a far stretch if you consider how vampires, like the Internet, have taken over pop culture and our lives. The Internet leaves us consistently at everyone’s beck and booty call. And the Internet only perpetuates this to the point where it’s evolved into one of these soul-consuming demons in modern society.
The Internet has killed courtship and prolonged break-ups (enter the entire cast of True Blood). We can keep files on people and find out everything anyone could ever want to know about them without ever actually speaking to them. You can move thousands of miles away, but your ex can still follow you around. Story of my life.
This is all potentially harmful behavior. We essentially let ourselves get jerked around by whoever reads our social media posts because we like the attention. We live a half-existence as a night-stalker feeding off the pain of old memories and the little flickers of hope that ‘maybe one day…’ We’re obsessed with the cold and dead. We’re Sookie. Comment debates are a thrill and when we find out an ex reads our Twitter, it’s an aphrodisiac. Mmm, the erotic pain for pleasure. It hurts so good.
Where do you draw the line between social networking connections and emotional abuse? Where do you draw the line between being interested and being a obsessive stalker? Where’s the line between functional couple and co-dependent, narcissistic douchebags?
There isn’t one. Millennials and the Internet have made it disappear because we demanded, “Mr. Zuckerberg, tear down this wall!”