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The Delicate Art of Stalking

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Contributor:
Dallas Boyd
Dallas Boyd

I work from an office located directly in front of a Jehovah’s Witness church.

Due to my innocent and convenient proximity, I believe I have become an unwilling target, as the ladies often pop by to say a cheerful “hello.” Aside from the religious bullying, they are nice ladies, who go to great efforts to explain things to me in a way which I’ll understand…. (“The reason we call ourselves ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ is because we are witnessing - dramatic pause - Jehovah”).
 
So this is why I have a hard time crossly saying to them “no, leave me alone!!” 
 
I guess it’s partly my fault for being such a tease, but it’s gotten to the point where I hide if I see them coming. I am accumulating a pile of “Watchtowers”, which seem to turn up magically on my desk even when I’m out of the office. One of them has an orange and red cover and says in big letters “Should you fear Hell?” And an issue from September 2008 has an article called “Robots. How far have they come?” Robots?? Those crafty Jehovah’s Witnesses think of everything! Browsing through a “Watchtower” article about coping with stress, I scanned the check-list of stress factors and noticed that there wasn’t a box to tick if you’re being stalked by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Surely just an accidental oversight. 
 
But let’s not be too hard on the trusty J.W’s for their grinding enthusiasm. Because I’ve noticed that the internet (through sites like Facebook etc) has fuelled the closet stalker in all of us to new heights of obsession and unhealthy fixation.This technology enables us to keep tabs on people we’d otherwise (for the greater good) have nothing to do with. No longer do we have to limit our stalking behaviour to door knocking, sneaky drive-bys, dark sunglasses and trench coats. These days we can fuel our morbid fascinations and voyeurism (while also degrading our self-esteem) through browsing the profiles of ex-partners to jealously inspect how successful, happy, and sexy they appear (and that of their new lover too). We can visit the photo albums of old classmates to see who got fat, who popped out kids, and who is still sickenly good looking. We can add people as “friends” simply because we want to perve through their stuff and read their conversations with other people. While in small doses, this can be mildly entertaining, you don’t want to get carried away. 
 
Although there are obvious differences between the passive internet stalker and the annoying Jehovah’s Witness, I’m not so sure that either method of stalking is particularly constructive. Moderation is probably the key. The danger of course, is not realising that you are being slightly stalkerish. Watch for these tell-tale signs:

  • Your four-billionth invitation for me to join you at church for a question and answer session from the bible has once again been declined. 

Or:

  • You spend more time looking at profiles of people you don’t like, than spending time with people you do like.

If you can manage the delicate art of stalking by keeping the fine balance between curiosity and obsession in check, you’ll stay under the radar nicely. Everyone else - take the hint!!!
 
 

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