How social media 'stalking' can get you in trouble: Opinion

Lesley explains how finding someone on social media can go wrong. Picture: ShutterstockLesley explains how finding someone on social media can go wrong. Picture: Shutterstock
Lesley explains how finding someone on social media can go wrong. Picture: Shutterstock
Hands up anyone who’s had a covert look on their ex’s Facebook page? Or googled a potential date?Social media has been a thing for well more than 10 years now. So you’d be forgiven for thinking that we’d all be used to the necessary etiquette that goes with it. Not necessarily.

I know someone who kindly let his girlfriend borrow his phone when her battery ran out but later discovered she’d been using her social media accounts to arrange dates with another man. Awkward.

Every teenager will tell you there’s an embarrassment factor lurking behind liking posts, and clicking on things could identify you’ve been following them if you wish to remain under the radar. Cold comfort to the friend who visited her ex’s new girlfriend’s Facebook profile out of curiosity…and added her as a friend by mistake!

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Here’s something with 10-out-of-10 cringe factor, which perfectly illustrates why you should exercise caution when ‘stalking’ online.

Some chap was in a café and using his laptop when another man, a complete stranger, sat near him and got his iPad out. Idly glancing over, he noticed this man was logged into LinkedIn, and he found himself wondering what they did for a living. Quickly, he opened his own LinkedIn account and typed in the name he’d just read over the man’s shoulder from their profile.

Unfortunately, his neighbour then got a notification to say someone had viewed his profile – one of the benefits of LinkedIn as it’s supposed to be for business networking. His neighbour then turned to him, puzzled, showing him his iPad screen and saying ‘is this you?’

I have no idea what happened next but I think I’d have literally died of embarrassment.

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But the worst I’ve ever heard was a friend who borrowed a family member’s phone to log onto Facebook. They forgot to log out again. Later the nosey relative scrolled through my friend’s messages – only to discover quite a few bitchy comments about them by another family member. The rift still hasn’t been mended.

I have a really awful knack for booking sunny holidays

I’ve done it again. I seem to have a knack of booking a holiday somewhere hot and sunny to ‘escape’ a disappointing British summer, only to discover we’re having a tropical heatwave again.

For the past three years, I’ve managed go away at exactly the same time as the UK swelters. And this year is no exception. So we’re off to Crete ‘for some sun’ when we could have easily saved the time and expense by simply staking ourselves out in the back garden.

But although it’s lovely at home, there’s just no substitution for views over the Aegean with golden sand between your toes. And no washing up or hoovering either. Maybe I’m not so daft after all…

It’s not fair for retailers to just target young people

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Ageism is illegal in the recruitment world and on many other platforms. But it seems alive and well in retail fashion.

Shein, an online clothing store, recently tweeted about its range being for ‘young, elegant and fashionable’ women. How short sighted of the brand to alienate potential customers by ignoring the fact that 50 is the new 20 and women in the older age bracket often have plenty of disposable income too. Sort it out, Shein.

I may be in my fifties but I still love fashion. I’m not an old hag in beige elasticated slacks yet. Someone responded to the tweet saying that whereas fashion may be predominantly for the young, elegance tends to develop later. Well said.