How many times do you get a friend request on Facebook, look at who they have as mutual friends, and accept based on that? I do it, too often. It works out alright more often than not, but then you get that one. You know, they hop on Messenger the second you hit “accept” and begin the Creepshow.
Just happened a few days ago. This person hit it quick, and got too friendly or something right off the bat. I get it, there are a lot of lonely people out there. And the ones who are looking to network through Facebook to sell you stuff. People who just want to make a connection because it is overwhelming to go out in public and meet others. But that over-friendly stuff right out of the gate really creeps me out.
I keep it cool at first, don’t give too much information. I watch ID channel, I am not a fool… much. So how do you balance it? I don’t know. When they are trying to sell me something, I shut it down quick. Tell them if they just friended me to build their pyramid they can unfriend me and move on. If they stay as my friend, I tell them they are not welcome to use me to get to my other friends.
What about the lonely ones? They ask a lot of personal stuff, but don’t give much information back. That is where I get cautious, and I don’t volunteer much. This latest one started in on that too much, seemed like a stalker type. But he says he lives pretty far out of state. Ok, so why are you chatting up a Wisco girl so aggressively? It just doesn’t jive for me. So I started shutting him down. He is like, we are just friends, Carol. I said “No we’re not, I do not know you.” How long of a drive is it from the East coast? I probably have time to pack up the essentials and change my identity, right?
I guess it’s the age we live in. I mean, people want to have a connection with other people, I get that. I just don’t want to get creeped out in the process. At least in out in the real world I know how to act if I get a bad vibe from someone. And people misrepresent themselves online all the time. I had that experience with online dating, so I got out of that fast. I am just me, I don’t pretend to be someone I am not just to improve my odds. I just don’t get it, I guess.
I would say my advice is to be careful. Hey Carol, be careful. I better advise myself of that first. No more accepting friend requests unless there are at least 5 mutual friends. Cyber Stalking is exhausting. I just don’t have the patience for it. I get that some of these online meetings turn into something great, but I have also watched Lifetime movies, and I know that Netflix is jam packed full of cautionary tales of Cyber Creeping gone wrong. I have no desire to meet Dr. Phil under these circumstances. Now if Oprah was still on, I could consider it, but that’s a no go, so I will stay somewhat cautious.
Thanks to all of you for Cyber Creeping me at one time or another, but in the good way. I think social media is a fantastic thing 90% of the time, but oh that other 10%. Yikes!! Stay safe, online and out there in the big real world!!