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Advice

Badvice – A guide to social media stalking

By Sarah Harris

We all have that one friend who’s so good at social media stalking they could have a secret life as an FBI agent. In my friendship group, I am that friend. My mate once went on a holiday to Cuba and kissed a guy. All she knew about him was his first name, the fact that he was from somewhere in Canada and what he vaguely looked like (she was very drunk). It took me approximately 2 hours to find him with the limited information I had. Although this talent isn’t exactly something I can put on my CV, it’s always a useful skill to be able to find out information on anyone or anything.

The first key with social media stalking is making sure you leave no clues behind. You can’t afford to slip up and accidentally like that Instagram picture from their holiday to Spain 138 weeks ago; you’ll look like a right moron. If you do mess up, accept your fate and don’t block them as it’s very likely you’ll end up looking even more stupid.

The easiest social media platform to stalk people on is Facebook, purely because it’s so hard to make mistakes and accidentally like an old status or picture. With websites like Twitter or Instagram on the other hand you need to be a lot more careful, with curses like the accidental ‘double tap’ coming into play. Best ways to avoid these awkward conundrums is by doing the stalking on your laptop instead of your phone.

But like I said, make sure you clean up after yourself. One of my closest friends had a crush on a guy who also happened to be the ex of someone else I knew, so I managed to send her some screenshots of them together from her Facebook. It all went super wrong when he borrowed her phone and opened it up to an old picture of himself. It’s safe to say it was a very awkward situation.

The most important thing is probably being able to screenshot on Snapchat without being caught. I mean we’ve all been there at some point and seen our ex put up a picture of themselves on a date with some stranger, just a few weeks after they broke up with you. Of course our first inclination is to screenshot the picture and send it to the group chat so you and the girls can have a bitch fest, but how do you go about it without them getting a notification? The answer is simple. Open up the snap and double tap your home button to show all the apps you’re using and screenshot. Thank me later.

So once again, here I am with the ‘bad advice’ which in all honesty is actually pretty useful. Personally, I think it’s natural to be curious and slightly nosey about what other people are up to and at the end of the day, social media stalking is the best form of procrastination and everyone knows it!

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