Okay, so I'm woman enough to admit this: I'm a little bit of a stalker. Not the kind of stalker you might be thinking of, a.k.a. I haven't purchased any pieces of Lindsey's smashed car off of eBay. However, with advanced technology like AIM and Facebook at my fingertips, sometimes it's hard to resist the temptation to stalk. For example, I have my ex-boyfriend's sister on my buddy list. Now really, that isn't all that bad, but honestly I'm worried for my future, because with this little kick start, soon enough my buddy list won't be comprised of friends and relatives, but boyfriends, their ex's, and their relatives. Combine all that and you get the all-too-familiar drunk “dialing, IMing, and Facebooking.” My impending days look far too dismal.
So to put some boundaries on my obsessiveness I have compiled some rules to try to limit my stalker-like tendencies; I'm sure you and my stalkies could learn something from it too.
You all know the routine: you've just gotten someone's cell number, you play it cool until you are about seven Busch Lights deep, and suddenly your cell phone is out and open, scrolling for their number. You miss it the first few times because you're squinting with one eye, but then there it is like a raindrop in the desert, and before you know what you're doing your fingers are going crazy and it's ringing. At this point your partially sober friends are looking over at you shaking their heads, motioning to you to hang up. But it's too late and all you can do is try your best not to slur as you invite this new “friend” to the party/”bedroom.” You wake up the next morning and don't even realize what you've done until you screen through last night's calls and see the 2:05 am dial to so-and-so. You are then forced to send the shameful morning-after text message apologizing for your behavior the night before.
“Everyone is allowed at least one drunk dial—it's inevitable. But the only thing worse than doing it one time, is doing it over and over and over….to the same person.”
Now, everyone is allowed at least one drunk dial—it's inevitable. But the only thing worse than doing it one time, is doing it over and over and over….and over…to the same person. So save yourselves some pain, as hard as it may be, and ERASE THAT NUMBER. I have had to do this with random people I've drunk-dialed, ex-boyfriends, their girlfriends, their moms, etc. Whoever it may be, if they want to speak to you again, let THEM call. Let the phone get out of hand before the situation does.
This is a problem that has been plaguing college campuses for the past few years, and it often starts with the obsessive-compulsive checking of other people's away messages. I'm guilty, you're guilty, we're all goddamn guilty. And more often than not, we pay the price. Ready for another revolutionary solution? Eliminate any screennames that would normally be socially unacceptable to have on your buddy list (boyfriend's ex's, people who don't know you exist, etc.), and transfer them to a friend's buddy list. Look, everybody is entitled to their curiosity, but to prevent that from transforming into something slightly more, dare I say, frightening, keep them on your BFF's buddy list. Next time you get the urge, ask her/him to check it out for you, that way you're never directly linked to any drama in the case of an inevitable slip-up.
Facebook does a pretty good job of preventing stalkers from going too far by limiting the profiles you can check to those on your friends list and those who go to your school. The only problem is that they don't compensate for the drunken curiosity that can lead to Facebooking people simply to be able to check their profile—people who may be slightly freaked out by your overwhelming curiosity about them. I haven't found the answer to this one yet. The best advice I can give you is to turn off your computer before you leave your room for the night. That way when you come home drunk, stoned, or all hopped up on whatever it is you do, hopefully you'll be too messed up to bother turning on your computer, waiting for it to load, going to the website, and then asking someone to be your friend, who in all truth, probably doesn't know who you are. I really hope you have a slow computer.
Nobody likes to admit it, but we all have these problems. Before you head back to the bottle or ask your doctor about Valtrex, give these tips a try. They may be just the treatment you're looking for.*
*No representation is made that the efficacy of these methods is better at treating herpes than any other method.