humor

ORBITING: Is This Really a Thing?

“Sometimes I put up a story [on Instagram or Facebook] just to see who’s watching.”

“Wait. Tell me more,” I stared at my friend.

“Yeah, you can totally see who views your stories [that disappear after 24 hours]! It’s a great way to see if an ex is still creeping on your social media.”

As my friend explained more, it made sense. Unlike with normal feed posts, stories capture who has viewed them, so you actually get some insight into not only the total view count, but into exactly which followers have been checking out your stuff. In other words, anyone silently lurking on your social media, never liking or commenting, is CAUGHT. Watching you.

Amazing.

Terrifying.

Intriguing…

As a long-time blogger, I’m well aware of the depressing statistic that only 1% of readers ever leave a comment. 10% might like your posts, if you’re lucky. So even though you can see how MANY people visit your site [via behind-the-scenes analytics], you never know WHO’S reading.

But I’ve always assumed at least three exes, two bosses, and my father are reading every post. Hence the consistent lack of truly juicy details.

This was brand new territory.

Over the past few weeks, as part of building my [alter ego] The Vegan Dollar YouTube channel, I started regularly posting and sharing stories on my associated Instagram account. Right away, I noticed a familiar face checking out every. single. story. Sometimes within minutes of hitting publish.

Don’t mind if I do.

Wait. Didn’t he follow my account like a year ago? I thought that was an accident…I guess it wasn’t! I clicked on his profile image. His account was private. I didn’t follow back.

BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE INSANE.

BECAUSE HE DUMPED ME SIX YEARS AGO.

AND WE HAVEN’T SPOKEN SINCE.

Yup. That’s right. The infamous fellow who texted heart emojis just hours before asking for his apartment key back is now watching every single story…on my vegan brand account…

And I wasn’t even vegan when we dated! BECAUSE THAT WAS SIX YEARS AGO.

What. The. Actual. Fudgcicles.

I immediately snapped into research mode. After about an hour, I stumbled on a post that referred to this exact phenomenon. “Orbiting,” the article called it. (And apparently I was late to the scene.)

The definition provided by Urban Dictionary.

With this new phrase in my back pocket, I dug deeper. Unfortunately, I soon discovered tale after tale of people -women, especially- with experiences just like mine. In one case, the woman reached out to her peeping-Tom-ex-who-had-dumped-her-years-ago. “Hey, I noticed you’ve been watching my stories,” she messaged. “What’s up? How are you?” The guy never wrote back and immediately blocked her.

Even reputable sites like Psychology Today provided little helpful guidance. “If it bothers you, block them,” said the majority. “Don’t read into it,” common counsel advised. “They’re probably just curious.” And my personal favorite, “Get over it.”

But…

But…

But…

Is this okay? Are we okay with leaving it at that? Forgiving stalking just because it’s (arguably) passive? And furthermore, putting the onus on the stalked?

Does having a public social media account give implicit permission for any and all lurking? Are we signing a contract that says, “Sorry, pal, you asked for it”?

In fairness, I am asking for it sometimes.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve creeped on a page or two in my day. Truuuuust me. And there are certainly instances where exes can remain friends on social media, even if they need to take an initial pause after a break-up. But consistently checking out the content of someone you dumped years ago and with whom you haven’t exchanged a single word, like, or comment since?

Are we really okay with that?

What about a family member with whom you might have had a fallen out, but then notice they’re watching every story of yours on Facebook, while refusing to have an actual conversation?

Is that okay?

Where is the line between curiosity and cruelty?

…Is there one?

~*~*~*~*~*~

Um. So. Hey. Don’t forget to leave a comment ūüėČ

~*~*~*~*~*~

Just For Fun, Lists, TV Junkie

Choose Your Own Adventure Friday

To protect the innocent devilishly awesome, let’s just say a friend of a friend of a monkey’s uncle knows someone who’s been posting really interesting things on Facebook lately.

Now I know I just talked about the social media ‘over share’ disease in my last post.¬†Normally I have an allergic reaction to my Facebook wall, and simply just try to remember to wish people a happy birthday, but hearing this tale unfold like an episode of 90210, well… I’m riveted.

This FOAFOAFOAMU (Friend Of A Friend Of A Friend Of A Monkey’s Uncle, geesh, try to keep up) has been posting about their newly lavish lifestyle.¬†There are expensive houses (okay, just one. THAT I KNOW OF), vacations, big parties, pricey day trips, you name it. Something new on the daily.

You see, it just doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t add up. I mean, literally. The money. It doesn’t add up. Where is it coming from?¬†My first thought was:¬†Well, they probably just inherited dough from a relative.

Zeal thinks they stole it. Of course he does.

But where’s the fun in that? Here are other options I’ve come up with:

They…

  • founded a covert but obviously successful Mail Order Second Husband business. …Dang. Why didn’t I think of that? Oh wait, I did. Score
  • developed a frozen margarita that doesn’t cause brain freeze or bad decisions
  • figured out a way to make cars punch people when they don’t use their blinkers
  • discovered bacon that doesn’t splatter molten hot grease when you fry it
  • invaded Gayle’s mind via her dreams (a la Inception) and got the number to Oprah’s Swiss bank account. The one they were using to pay for their secret wedding and deserted island
  • are murder-for-hire assassins, but that’s not how they made their fortune. While they were hunting down terrorists in really awesome disguises and black leather pants, they stumbled across a fountain of youth in a remote part of the Australian outback, and now sell each drop for anywhere from 100k-1 million, depending on how old rich you are. By the by, did anyone else love the book Tuck Everlasting when they were kids? Why didn’t they make all these awesome books into movies when I was the appropriate age to enjoy them?

I’d keep going, but I’ve got to go catch a train…

…because…

Peppermeister (Husband Numero Uno) and I are going to see a taping of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon!

Now there’s something I didn’t make up today.

Me too, Zest. Me too.

I hope you Chipmunks have a wonderful weekend, full of Facebook fantasies and fascinating friendships. (And alliteration. But I’ve got you covered there. No, no. It’s my pleasure.)

Are you captivated by any particular person’s social media over shares? Tell me everything.