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Stalking Made Easy with Social Media

By Jonathan Joyner

Some people would say if you’re social media is private that you’re missing the point of social media. However, being public opens yourself up to safety concerns. In real life, we’d be concerned if somebody we don’t know were following us. We might even call to get the police involved. On social media, it’s different. We welcome strangers following us. We use hashtags to make ourselves more visible to get more likes and more follower. Some people even get their validation from social media followers and likes.

gypsea_lust vs diana_alexa
gypsea_lust vs diana_alexa

In the case of Instagramer Lauren Bullen, her post gained her fan that a modern reboot of the movie Single White Female might draw inspiration from for the lead antagonist. Bullen has found a fan that may have crossed the line into fanatic. @diana_alexa seems to be following Bullen both literally and figuratively. Thanks to geolocation and location tags in photos, @diana_alexa has map and a template to making painstaking efforts to recreate Lauren Bullen’s photos down to wearing similar if not the exact same clothing.

 

 

Today, stalking is made easier by social media. We casually tease our friends for checking up on their exes or new crush’s Facebook page or Instagram feed. The threshold to entry on how to keep tabs on somebody has become very low. Technology has made it so easy, that we don’t think even think about it as stalking. We just see it has doing research or our due diligence. The line has become very blurry and there aren’t even laws in most states regarding it.

 

While we figure this out as a society, my best suggestion is to use common sense. Maybe not every part of your life needs to be broadcast across social media or at least not in real time. Both #ThrowbackThursday and #Latergram are popular hashtages for a reason. Maybe compromise and share content on one of your move private social media channels. If necessary, use the block feature and/or to go private if necessary.

 

Morgan, R. (2016, November 11). 'I was very creeped out': Blogger who travels the world posting breathtaking photos on Instagram discovers that a woman is following her and taking the exact SAME images. Retrieved November 13, 2016, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3927672/I-creeped-Blogger-travels-world-posting-breathtaking-photos-Instagram-discovers-woman-following-taking-exact-images.html


Savage, C. (2013, October 15). The selfie syndrome: Why teens use social media for validation and how parents can counteract it. Retrieved November 13, 2016, from http://www.today.com/parents/selfie-syndrome-why-teens-use-social-media-validation-how-parents-8C11391281

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UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism