Haunting Social Media

Andrea Van Orsouw
It sounds better than stalking.
Because it is.
A stalker shows up outside your house. They look through your mail. They wait for you at your favorite places. They peek in the windows. They want to be a part of your life. A big part.
You close the shades. You leave town. You file a restraining order.
The real world sucks.
Social media is different.
If social media were the real world,
you'd install a special window in your house. You prepare yourself before walking in front of it. Then you act. You pose with new clothes. You display your meals before eating. You flash slides of your vacation. You hold up your cat.
A crowd gathers outside the window. You appear more frequently. They keep coming. Before long, your self-esteem hinges on how many people are camped out on your lawn.
But social media is not the real world.
There is no window on your house.
There is no one in your yard.
You are alone.
Online, your visitors are vapors. They visit your realm for seconds and disappear. Like lost loved ones, you take from it what you can. They whisper words of encouragement. They ask you for things. Sometimes they even frighten you.
But when you turn off the phone...
shut down the computer...
They're gone.
They were never really there.
You are haunted.

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