I’m mystified by a phenomenon I will call blog stalking, or appropriately, “BS” for short. I am now aware of several bloggers who have that one person, or a herd of cohorts, who spend hours a day on their blog, then follow links all over the blogosphere, sniffing down anywhere this particular blogger has made comments, visited, breathed near, brushed against, or made the barest appearance, and then begin furiously humping those blogs too.
I have many blogs I visit several times a week, because I enjoy them and want to see what’s new. This, ladies and gentlemen, is normal and sane.
Let’s say I repeatedly visit one of these blogs upwards of a dozen times a day, regardless of whether it’s been updated or not, and apparently just stare at it, waiting for evidence or messages from Mars to spontaneously materialize before my face, maybe waving my fingers dramatically and barking, “Hocus pocus!” Who knows, I’m honestly not certain what these blog stalkers are actually doing during their hours in Blog Land. They must have mini-fridges and canned food supplies near their computers, because the time they spend on ONE BLOG is incomprehensible!
Then, when it finally dawns on them there is no new content on this particular blog, and that they have read the same post 500 times already because they’ve now racked hours on this very same screen, a dim, barely perceptible idea dribbles into the foggy cobwebs of their minds: Hey, this person has links! I bet that means she goes somewhere else!
And the drool is a-flyin’ as the blog stalker clicks link after link, following the trail like a blood-thirsty hound, orgasmically clicking and reading, straining for any sign of their target blogger/obsession, and proceeds to stalk other blogs, devouring them like crack.
Let’s recap. I love to blog and greatly enjoy reading other people’s posts and comments, and I love finding a new blog that makes me laugh, that makes me smile, that makes me want to add it to my blogroll. This is…remember lesson #1, yes? ….normal.
I love my readers who visit frequently and leave comments. They are fellow bloggers who also enjoy the hobby, and this is…again…normal.
Now let’s envision someone who visits the same blog about 20 times a day, every day, starting the second he/she awakens, perusing not only the occasional new post but also the archives, which he has already read several times but must believe will mysteriously morph into whatever BS’s look for; follows every last link from people who have commented, devours blogs that are linked from the target/obsession blog, and pants and lusts after every scrap she can churn up like a gorging pig rooting in mud; and finally, before she can even think of laying her rattling head to rest, checking one more time, late at night, just in case.
The most hilarious thing is, the blog stalker thinks he is sneaky, tricky, a clever little sleuth. “I’m sure showing her! I can spend as much time on this blog as I want to! Harrumph!” *foot stomp, lower lip jutting out, scowling REDRUM-style*
I feel little more than pity for someone who has such an empty void for a life that they have to desperately suck life from someone else. Where are these people’s friends, lives, families, hobbies, dreams, interests?
BS’s will justify their obsessive behavior with some lie or another, but let’s get real here. If you are spending hours a day scouring the same blog over and over instead of dealing with your life’s issues or problems directly, you are the problem. And while you are spending your next hour staring at the same page or feverishly clicking links, desperate to hunt down every footstep your obsession target has made on the entire Internet, ask yourself: Why am I doing this instead of dealing with my issues? Why am I sitting here in front of a computer instead of playing with my kids? Why am I doing this, day after day, when there are roughly one million more productive things to be doing? Why is it so important to me to follow this person all over the Internet? Why am I jealous of this person to the point I have to trot after him/her like a slobbery, untrained puppy? What is it exactly I am trying to accomplish?
You may also ask yourself: What happened to my sanity, and my life?
Click that little red “X” at the top of your browser window and go salvage what’s left of your mind. Or, simply continue to waste hours a day stalking away, knowing you are considered a big joke. Your choice.
Oh wait, one last question, and definitely the most important one, so pay rapt attention: since you clearly have so much free time on your hands, do you suppose you could come over and fold my laundry, clean my toilets, or maybe vacuum my car? I’m a busy woman, you know. Think about it.
Related Links: EFF: Fighting for Bloggers’ Rights