Nothing passes the time like a good social media stalking. Doesn’t matter the platform, it’s always fun to see your stalkee grow up right before your eyes. Three years ago they were tweeting about how Miley just can’t put pants on and now it’s all climate change all the time. It’s a great way to get to know someone, without actually having to know someone. The best Instagram bio I’ve come across in all my years of internet watching: “I’ve probably stalked you too.” Amen, sister.
But one platform is so anti-stalk, it’s almost scary to lurk in the shadows. LinkedIn is one of my obsessions. To figure out if you’re old yet, update your profile until you reach Superstar Status. If that brings you immense joy your soul is probably an accomplished mom of four with a kick-ass career and always enough time to hit the gym. But lately, the idea that my social stalk victim would know I was tip-toeing around their page has stopped me from exploring my friends’ professional adventures. And I am genuinely interested in what cool steps people are taking to find their passions.
When I receive an email that someone was looking at my page it’s a two sided response. Half of me feels gratitude and excitement towards someone’s interest in me, and the other half is that annoying smirk emoji that sends “well, I am Superstar Status” vibes. During this whole internal monolouge I never even have creepy thoughts cross my mind. Whether they were using my profile as LinkedIn-spriation for building their own pages or just clicking a familiar face to grow their connection numbers, the act of looking at someone’s profile feels lighthearted, quick, and just enough detached. No fearing for your life, old man commenting on all my posts, there’s someone in my bushes worries here.
Overall, I think it’s about accepting that to build a strong network, it’s about engagement outside the walls of your house or the comfort of invisibility. LinkedIn promotes an environment to share your professional accomplishments, abilities, and ambitions. And if it’s worth stalking, it’s worth supporting. By being an active user on the platform you’re reaping more benefits than the silent Sally over there in the corner. You’re being present. You’re creating a personality to the profile picture. And more importantly you’re taking ownership of your curiousity.
There’s no shame in the social media stalking game, so get ready for a whole lot of looks.
Stuck in my head: Vowels // Capital Cities
Snap it: Union Market, DC