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Digital and Tech Etiquette, Relationship and Dating Etiquette, Social Etiquette

A Restraining Order with Your Name on It

The way technology is now makes it so very easy to track another person’s every online move.  You have close to complete access to where your best friend is hanging out at this very moment by peeping at Foursquare check-ins.  It’s easy to know if your girlfriend is sending smiley faces or hugging the next man just by perusing her wall.  The photos of your little sister going through her scantily clad phase keep popping up all over the place.  The list of things you can monitor goes on and on.  It’s like the Internet is tempting you, even encouraging you to be a stalker.

Too many relationships have been destroyed over what people thought they saw happen on a social network or microblogging site.  It not worth the tension and heartache, especially since often times the way things appear in a single post or photo aren’t quite what they seem.  While you may assume you are staring at a photo of your girlfriend squeezing some other dude, you could really be looking at a shot of her giving her coworker a brief, uneventful farewell.  No need to tint your car windows and wear your sunglasses at night to spy on your girlfriend.

You have to be the one to make a conscious decision not to spend hours checking others’ timelines, walls, boards, check-ins all day, every day.  And when you do come across this info about your significant other, friend, or relative, it is best that you do not try to hold it against them.  This is not information for you to use to make unfounded accusations, because there can be a back story to just about anything you find online.  It is better to take most of these things with a grain of salt.  If you do see a red flag, then raise the topic in a manner that is not accusatory and see if there is a reasonable explanation behind it.

If nothing else, consider that you have better things to do with your time than stalk those you care about.  Sure you can look to see that all is well with them, but don’t use it as a means to track their every move and make them uncomfortable about sharing their experiences.

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