Any girl who tells you that coming out of an internet deep dive with some good old fashioned blackmail isn’t one of her favorite feelings is either A) drunk B) lying or C) both.
As a great man once said, “Girls are weird, man, they can find anyone online.”
Yes. Yes, we can. But not only can we find anyone, once we nail said target we can likely also find out anything about them.
Because while internet stalking is a ridiculously fun little pastime for us, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of finding out someone’s dirty little secrets that you know they were hoping no one ever would.
And me? I’m admittedly, and proudly, a borderline professional internet blackmail queen.
It’s one thing to type someone’s name into Facebook and go into that hole where you ultimately end up looking at their old prom pictures and seeing the tragic days when they once had side bangs and wore My Chemical Romance tees. Yes, it’s fun to do that light, fluffy, everyday kind of stalking. But it is a whole other game when you step it up to figure out what someone’s hiding.
Does this make me psychotic? Maybe aka: Probably. But hear me out.
Whether you admit it or not, every single one of us is a nosey little fucker. It’s why we stare a little too long when we open someone’s medicine cabinet looking for more soap or toilet paper at a party. It’s why you might “accidentally” swipe past a few just to see what’s in there when someone hands you their phone to look at a picture. It’s why we were all stoked when Instagram implemented the zoom in feature so we could see whether it was Jenn or Kate who was Facetuning her arms the most. We all want to know what someone else is keeping secret because in our own warped little brains, it justifies or lessens our own secrets to ourselves.
But let’s be real. Some of us are just better at finding that dirt than others.
You give me a first name and a phone number and I’ll find out where they went to college and whether or not they plead guilty to that DUI junior year. A guy at the bar is telling my friend he’s all about being Ivy League and I’m right there pulling up his state school alumni records and asking about all those questionable frat photos. Another I have mutual friends with talks about how he “went off to pursue other things” and I find out his ass was fired with a capital F for being a completely sexist douchebag. A girl I graduated with starts bragging about her Manhattan magazine gig and with just a few twists and turns around LinkedIn, I’m there with the proof that she’s an assistant and that’s how she got into fashion week.
I’m a professional internet stalker and information gatherer, and I’m not stopping anytime soon.
Because whether or not you do anything with the information you obtain, there’s something so unquestionably satisfying about even having it in the first place. Yes, even if all you do is keep it stashed away in some sort of information vault in your own head — it’s weirdly comforting to simply know about it in the first place.
Whether you’re willing to cop to the truth of it or not, having dirt on people is a way of having the upper hand. And ultimately, we all want to have the upper hand.
I don’t care if you’re the nicest, sweetest, most sugary little soul in the universe. Trust me, Mary-Sue and Bobby-Jo from Pleasantville still want to win because nobody (and I mean NOBODY) likes to lose. And information is something that, like it or not, helps you win in the long run. It’s the confidence that should someone try to take you down there’s mutually assured destruction. It’s the feeling of slight superiority of being able to either internally or outwardly say, “Yeah, I knew about that…” when something comes up from a third party. It’s the ultimate way of having super secret power moves to play at your own discretion.
Like Denise Richards says in Drop Dead Gorgeous, “Jesus loves winners.” And if you can have something around that helps you win in the long run, what’s a few Google searches and phone record lookups along the way?
But like I said, maybe I’m just completely psycho. I’ll make a note to get my friend’s opinion at brunch this weekend.
I already know all about her cheating on her boyfriend thanks to carefully analyzing her Instagram, so it’s not like she can really look down on me. .