It starts out like a normal day; you're avoiding homework, going to classes and work, and staying up-to-date and relevant on social media. You see someone old or new, and get a hint of curiosity. Next thing you know it's 30 minutes later, and you're in so deep on the social media creeping you're very aware of your surroundings and who could catch you. It all started out so innocent. Now you're one of those people. You're a social media creeper, and you've fallen victim to the digital age.
The Simple Recent Picture Look
When you first begin to social media stalk, it's all innocent. It's as simple as, "What cute pictures from (insert event here.) Let me look through all 46." The event is recent, within the past week maybe, and everyone has a right to like the entire album or single pictures during that time. It's cute. It's casual. There is no harm, nor foul, because it's all in the name of common curiosity.
The Timeline Scroll
When you see an old friend on Facebook, this is a common go-to stalking method. It's your own personal way of catching up on their life; you see who they post about, who posts about them, what they're tagged in. You get so excited to see their announcement of different milestones in their life because you've missed so many in person. Stay aware of how far you are scrolling back. Anything past a month you like/favorite will seem extremely suspicious to the recipient. You will be caught, and you will suffer personal torture hoping they never figure out what you did.
The Profile Pictures from the Past
Profile pictures are the gateway creep. It's a simple action of "click and flick," and you go back through a person's life as told by their profile pictures. These are a very telling part of someone's personality/life. Depending on the person's account, you could span five years in three pictures. That displays the awful middle school haircut, cliche homecoming picture, and the current "I'm living the college dream" picture. From these little snapshots, of course you want to know more! You were simply given a taste of that former life.
Pictures from Three/Four Years Ago
Tread lightly. This is the war zone, where one small like/favorite could send you home crying, vowing never to return to a social life because you've done the unthinkable: got caught creeping. You're in so deep you love/hate it. It's a thrill, really. You'll see the evidence of their relationship three years ago; the peak of love when all they did was post pictures with them and the break up happened before all the mirror (camera flash included) selfies were taken, all captioned with variations of "Ridin' Solo" lyrics. If you're doing this stalking, you know what you've set out to do. You have a thirst for knowledge on this person, and this is the only way to quench it.
BONUS POINTS: If you're current friends with this person, comment or like certain old pictures to make their life horrible. Other friends will join in, and it will become clear we all creep, accidentally, or with a purpose.