Tag Archives: twitter

How I Met Your Father: the one with the social media stalkers

Kids, in 2018, as I further embraced my cosplaying, travel-loving, Comic Con-going, geek chick self, the ugly side of pursuing these passions revealed itself – in the form of several social media stalkers.

I’d heard about men taking things a step too far when randomly texting a woman with similar comic book and movie interests and experienced it only once years before but in the Spring of 2018, my personal experience with it intensified.

The Big Apple stranger danger:

Your Spirit Mom Leonie and I were super excited about our upcoming first joint New York trip together and I was periodically sharing photos on Instagram about it:

Enter  iger @pacman52280 aka George Waldman whose account was set to private and only had 128 followers. George, whom I had never, ever spoken to and certainly had no interest in doing so either, took to leaving the following comments on my posts:

Instagram stalker 2

Instagram stalker 1

On their own, sure, the comments seems innocent enough but the fact that this man had taken the time to immerse himself in my feed, go through what in particular interested me, scrutinized my passions and kept commenting when I was clearly not responding to him, freaked me out.

The fact that he had a private account, was a stranger and was insisting on meeting me, a solo female traveller in a foreign city, also set too many alarm bells ringing.

I’d dealt with thirsty men before but this was just on another level and I did not appreciate it.

I blocked George swiftly but I hated the fact that I now had to censor myself  when posting about the things I loved doing, simply because a man could not get a f**ing hint and stop harassing me… and this in the era of #MeToo.

It was the first time in all of my solo travelling adventures that I felt unsafe and it was utterly unnecessary.

Know where the f***ing line is, men, and toe it. It’s not that goddamn difficult!

The Twitter dirty bird:

Same year, different social media doos… a random Tuesday on Twitter elicited the following inappropriate DM:

Twitter Stalker

Again, I had never spoken to this person before,and had not engaged in any behaviour or communication that would invite this kind of message.

A look at his Twitter profile revealed the following:

Twitter Stalker 2

So, no, it wasn’t just me… this person was a certfied f***ing creep!

I reported him to Twitter immediately.

Social media is great for broadening your horizons but you also need to stay vigilant and be safe, Kids. While I would still be sharing posts about the cool and wonderful things and events I attended, these episodes definitely made me be more careful about it.

How I Met Your Father: an inflight meet-cute that made me believe in love again

Test tube: “Hey Beautiful. Do you come here often?”

Me: ” Only when I’m trying to get knocked up by you.”

Even in my f***ed up fantasies about conceiving you by sperm donation, I utterly sucked at flirting

Kids, in the winter of 2018, I was facing the very real and harsh reality that meeting a man, one who got my weirdness, wanted me, loved me for me and wanted to make you with me, wasn’t going to happen.

At the time, being part of a family where literally every single one of my female relatives met and married men at the drop of a f***ing hat, when my timelines were filled to the f***ing brim with ultrasound photos and every other couple on the street were seriously overdoing the limit on PDAs, researching sperm donation and IVF and worrying how in the holy f*** I was going to scrape 70K together to make you was how I spent my evenings.

It didn’t help that I couldn’t talk about these thoughts with anyone in my life because I was far too busy being the soundboard and emotional haven for those people (including the person I caught feelings for – he’d popped back into my life a few weeks before and was going through something major. Yes, I am aware of how f***ed up that is but I was young and stupid and had a major heroine complex so sue me!).

When you grow up in a family that accuses you of being a drama queen your entire life, you learn as an adult to keep your mouth f***ing shut about the heartbreaking issues and worries that keep you up at night. It made me so emotionally shut off that I automatically assumed my friends wouldn’t want to hear my fears about being so weird and unlovable that no man in their right minds would ever want to be with me or father my children.

On a morning following a long, long night of crying into my pillow about not being able to change who I was so I could be like my female relatives and friends, I logged onto Twitter where your godfather Leon had liked an epic thread.

The author of the thread had exchanged seats with another woman so she could be with her boyfriend and ended up inadvertedly setting this woman up with her co-passenger:

Did this make me believe I was going to meet your father on my next flight or bus ride? No… but it make me feel slightly better and really, that’s all a single girl could ask for. Thanks Leon and Rosey!

A Guide for the Millennial woman dating in the Modern Age

Are you a catfish? Have you ever been catfished?

No, I’m not referring to the delicious American Southern deep fried fish. For those not up to speed with the neologism here’s the Urban Dictionary’s definition:

“A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other Social Media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.”

catfish-1

The term was coined by the critically acclaimed documentary of the same title in 2010.

Now a MTV television series, filmed by Yaniv “Nev” Schulman whose own online love drama was the subject of the original film. He and fellow filmmaker Max Joseph now travel all over the USA to tell stories of these hopeful online romantics who meet in real life for the first time…more often than not some are met with shocking revelations.

In today’s fast-paced digital world where most of us are plugged in, logged on 24/7, time becomes a rare commodity more precious than gold.

Many new millennials are keen entrepreneurs, which leaves very little free time to none at all. This doesn’t bode so well for the love life. So how do singletons in the new millennia find their ‘soulmate’ without wasting time?

Online dating.

The answer may seem surprisingly simple, but gets a little more complicated as we go along.

Image credit: www.PCmag.com
Image credit: http://www.PCmag.com

Thanks to websites such as eharmony.com, match.com, Tinder app and countless others, why waste your time with endless dates to find out if you’re compatible when you can just login and after a few swipes left or right your “dream” match is at your fingertips?….or is he/she?

There have been a few matches made in (online) heaven – hurrah for them! But let’s get real for a minute the majority of people hooking up online do not end in happily ever afters.

It’s human nature to preserve the ego and what better way to make oneself appear to be the ideal mate/lover than from the comfort of behind your own computer screen?

No one knows who you really are in cyberspace right? So if you could be anyone you wanted to be, why not choose to be the perfect mate? Whether it’s a super fit, toned, bronze, tall, perfectly white Chiclet­toothed hero or a blonde bombshell with the perfect 36­34­36…No one’s going to know that your gym membership expired a decade ago and the closest you’ve gotten to sports is watching Wimbledon from the comfort of your armchair.

Image credit: “Ana” from Ex Machina Movie ­ http://io9.gizmodo.com/from­maria­to­ava­why­are­so­many­artificial­intellige­1699274487
Image credit: “Ana” from Ex Machina Movie ­
http://io9.gizmodo.com/from­maria­to­ava­why­are­so­many­artificial­intellige­1699274487

Naturally, it all starts with playful banter and a few witty posts. Likes on every picture you post, flirtatious innuendos soon follow and then the conversation swiftly moves offline to whatsapp or sms.

Depending on the individual’s need for the next fix of attention from their cyber infatuation, these lines of communication can rapidly progress to phone calls.

You rack up the phone bill whilst having endless discussions of the sun, moon, stars and everything in between. This has got to be ‘The One’. You inevitably share your secrets, desires and maybe a nudie pic or two.

If you’re lucky you may get a skype video call here or there, but the true catfish never ever reveal their true identity and will leave you dangling on a wickedly tempting string…always wanting more.

Here’s the catch, after a period of time you decide you want to meet Mr X or Miss Z and attempt to set up an actual real-life, in­-the­-flesh date.

You thank your lucky stars that at last they agree to meet with you. You set up a date or meeting time, but predictably the person of your dreams at the last minute cannot meet due to family emergency/car broke down/ world falling apart …you take your pick from any of the countless excuses.

All the while knowing that should you actually meet in person, that 1.7m blonde haired blue eyed Nordic prince charming whom you’ve shown your tatas to is none other than your geeky 15 year old teenage neighbour with braces. Who wouldn’t actually even know what to do with your tatas should he be so lucky to even see them in real life!

From my own personal experience I know people aren’t who they always say they are online.

catfish-4

A past flame was really witty and enigmatic on Twitter, in real life he was no player at all but rather an awkward introvert.

Now I know this might sound clichéd to some, but I’m the kind of person who falls in love with the mind and not a person’s physical appearance. If you don’t believe me just take a look at my track record, they were not all lookers but they were perfect in my eyes.

I travelled halfway round the world once to visit a myspace crush only to find he wasn’t exactly as I had imagined. His profile picture was several years old for starters, but he was a perfect gentleman and to this day we remain good friends.

Online romances always seem so much more mysterious and exciting, where you can imagine any number of things about your would be future partner.

Alas, they do not always meet your far away expectations and leave you disillusioned and jaded instead.

I have forged firm friendships spanning a decade from the days of Myspace, crossing over to Facebook and now eventually Twitter.

In Cape Town I’ve met several bloggers, Twitter pals and Instagram friends in person and thank goodness they’ve all turned out to be exactly who they said they are…no psycho killers or creepy peeping toms.

As a busy singleton in my 30s it’s very tempting to log on to Tinder and find my “dream” date at the touch of a button. But the inner paranoid cynic inside my head screams loudly to heed the warning signs.

Does that mean I’m going to stop chatting to the charming, older guy with the handsome mug on Facebook (oh Lord I hope that profile picture is real)? Probably not.

It just means I am going to be wary of letting my feelings run away with me until we’ve met for real in a well ­lit public place. Safety first ladies ;­)

Now don’t get me wrong, not all people who go online to seek love are false some of them are just as real as you or I.

I just don’t think I’ll be signing up to Tinder or any match sites anytime soon. I’m not in any hurry to find ‘anyone’, but if they find me…well that’s an entirely different story.

In the end, ladies, whether you’re looking for Mr Right or Mr Right Now, via the online romance route, don’t get catfished and don’t say I didn’t warn you ;­)

catfish-5

By Jacqui Cooks

www.thejaxblog.com