Stalking has become, unfortunately, much easier and much more sophisticated due to the advent of the Web 2.0 and the myriad of different new devices designed for photographing and recording.
Applications can also tell you where anyone is, what they are doing, and who they are sharing their activities with, as well. We are in an age where we still look up in wonder at these online creations
Similarly, we do not know yet how far these apps can take us, or how low they can bring us. That is where the danger comes when it comes to stalking or, like others call it "exploring online": anyone can check on anybody online by typing someone's name and delivering it to a Google search. This common practice, while seemingly harmless, could lead to horrid consequences if placed in the wrong hands.
Stalking is quite easy to do. Think about these apps when you happen to wonder where someone you know is, or what they are doing. In this day and age, they are wiling to tell you themselves, whether they want to, or intend to, or not:
- Foursquare- an app which displays to the world EXACTLY where you are.
- UrbanSpoon and Foodspotting- aside from giving thumbs up or down to a restaurant, these sites display your location whether you want it or not
- Facebook Check-in- the problem with Check-ins on Facebook is that you will also be found out especially by accepted "friends" who may be nearby.
Let us look at an example on too much information. A soldier, a 29 y/o man, posted a status regarding ordering food not thinking that the 38 y/o girlfriend that he left behind in another state without a good explanation, Pippa, had been watching every action the soldier had done online by typing his name as well as any other name whom this soldier had ever mentioned throughout their 4-year relationship.
One day the soldier, “Private Ryan", posted online where he was located via FourSquare, not knowing that the 38 y/o older girlfriend, who was by all means a clear bipolar specimen, would take it upon herself to drive a respectable amount of miles to get to the soldier's home only to verify that the soldier had started over a new life, with new friends and an even newer girlfriend.
Upon finding this out, the ousted girlfriend trespassed the soldier's home to try and find the soldier himself and confront him. All of this information was acquired through her consistent stalking via the Internet and via applications.
The ending of the story is that the ousted girlfriend, who was never told by the younger boyfriend that she was being replaced, performed a self-deprecating confrontational act at the soldier's home that led nowhere except for her personal humiliation. Perhaps if she had read the signs and acted upon them toward her own dignity, things could have worked.
- Internet sources that can locate you can be used to harm you
- you should not state your location unless it is of essence
- there is always someone who may be fixated with you for whatever reason; do not give them the leeway to find you
- In this day and age anyone can find you, "learn you" (via blogs), and then abuse you.
- if you have an online presence, keep it private unless it is to be used for professional gain.
- stalkers are everywhere- the world's playground has gotten EVEN more dangerous.
Therefore, had the soldier followed the rules above he would have saved himself of a load of misery and danger. He was clearly stalked, without his knowledge, and he could have been in danger of a deranged woman.