Saturday, February 15, 2014

Am I Cool or Am I Being Stalked?

Technology confuses me. Most of the time, I “get” technology just enough to stumble along, figuring out the functions that I need to make it useful to me. But sometimes, modern technology just stymies me. Let’s take Pinterest, for example. I love Pinterest. I’m not so obsessed that I spend eleventy-billion hours on it, but I do spend a few minutes nearly every night exploring strangers’ boards, wading through collections of what some random human being somewhere on the face of earth thinks is funny, or fashionable, or interesting, or delicious. I follow the boards of some woman I’ve never met named Kathy, simply because Pinterest told me I should follow some people and her recipes looked interesting. And now that I’ve become a fairly avid pinner, every once in a while, I get a message that some stranger is now following me.

But here’s the problem: I can’t decide whether having someone I don’t know “following” me is totally cool, or if it’s horrifically creepy and stalkerish. On the one hand, it’s flattering that someone out there who has never met me agrees with my taste in clothes or home décor or children’s craft ideas or humor or whatever enough that they want to know every time I find something in that category that I like. But on the other hand, it’s quite weird and more than a little disconcerting that someone out there who has never met me wants to know every time I find something that I think is cool or interesting or noteworthy.

Somewhere out there strangers are watching my every move. They know when I find a quote that I think is worth remembering. They know when I see an outfit that I wish I were wearing. They know when I find a craft that I think would be fun to do with my kids. They know when I’ve made a particular recipe for dinner and liked it (or not). They know when something makes me laugh. They know when something makes me shake my head. They know the kind of furniture and decorations I wish I had in my house.

That’s weird.

But then, I’m the one who put that information out there for everyone to see. Maybe I’m secretly a reverse voyeur, hoping that people will watch me. Maybe I’m flattered that perhaps someone out there wants to be like me. Maybe deep in my heart of hearts, it makes me feel like a worthwhile person that someone who’s never even met me cares about what I think, about what speaks to me.

About what I’ve stalked other people for.

Other people – they’re really the source of all my pins. Everything about Pinterest is second-hand. Maybe these people who are following me aren’t really stalking me; maybe they’re just using me to get to the people whose stuff I’ve been pinning. Maybe I should let Kathy know that there are people watching her.


Nah, I bet she already knows. 


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