Got a problem on the Internet? Even if you don’t, Internet Guy Rick Polito tells you what it is. Polito is a freelance writer with two novels he can't sell, a screenplay he'd like to show you, and a "sinister monkey" art installation that would look great over your sofa. He dishes advice with the big spoon. And he always knows the right answer. Even when he doesn’t.
Dear Internet Guy,
I'm still in love with my high school crush and I've been cyberstalking him since '05. But I feel like our romance has gone stale. The thrill is gone. What’s wrong?
—Flummoxed on Facebook
You’re bored with a relationship you don’t even have? You think you’re obsessed? You’re not obsessed enough. You need to step up your game.
Cyberstalking isn’t even “stalking lite.” It’s “stalking not.” There are some bullshit surveys but the real percentage of people who have Googled an ex, an old crush or just an acquaintance we think about when we masturbate is roughly ALL OF US. There’s even a forum at Lost & Found Lovers where you can talk about your little hobby.
Let’s be clear. Online harassment and cyberstalking are two different things. It’s just that cyberstalking fits better in a headline. Last month, a Florida judge sentenced a 24-year-old man to four years in prison for harassing a college student via Twitter and Facebook. That’s not “cyberstalking.” That’s “harassment," and existing laws cover it nicely.
You could move up to real-life stalking. But we can’t recommend that. Stalking is dreadfully tedious. It takes commitment. It also takes sunglasses, a hoodie, and, if you’re hardcore, a fake mustache and a UPS uniform.
Instead, you need what I call stalking therapy. That’s when you dig deep enough into the real target that you no longer want to stalk him.
If you’re not getting the illicit rush you crave from browsing Classmates.com and that profile pic of Mr. Wonderful playing beach volleyball doesn’t have you running for your Hitachi like it used to, maybe sifting through Mugshots.com could help.
That DUI picture of him looking all Saddam-in-the-spider-hole might pop the bubble.
Or you could acquire a new target. We’re not saying you should start actual dating. You’ve been cyberstalking the same guy for seven years. You’re not ready for the classic online-dating rite of passage—you know, sorting through pictures of guys posing with their Harley. (The bandanna doesn't make them rebels; it just means they’re bald.) But the dating sites could turn up somebody brand new to half-ass obsess over.
Check out PlentyOfFish.com for 40something divorced real-estate agents rocking the lost-youth goatee. And OkCupid quizzes tell you whether your potential date would eat his dog or his grandmother first in a post-apocalyptic famine. But if you’re just going to cyberstalk, why set your sights low? There’s always MillionaireDates and WealthyMatch.
It’s not like you’re going to attempt to meet any of these guys.
When you’re ready for that, we’d recommend you start at IStillLiveWithMyParents.com,
Is there something wrong on the Internet? Or just with you? Either way, Rick Polito will gladly pretend to care. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by pedrosimoes7