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REVERSE SECRET STALKING

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, i.e. Facebook or Myspace. I co-exist on both. It's comforting to know I can preoccupy myself with computer-facilitated friendships when I'm lonely and/or procrastinating. Plus, I have this other guilty pleasure, a hobby that saves me from ever feeling undesirable or boring: I stalk my secret cyberstalkers. Look, I'm not that savvy, but I managed to upload an undercover tracker onto my Myspace profile. It shows me precisely mapped-out locations and stats regarding view-length, number of repeat views, ISP and IP addresses (there are ways to work around wireless cards) and more. Next, I cross-reference this information with site meter stats from my personal blog. Ultimately I know where these not-so-private-eyes live and work, when they run Google searches of my name, and what Internet-based documents they've read about me. Beyond checking out my new boyfriend's ex-girlfriend ("Wow! We have so much in common!"), I also now know when one of my ex-boyfriend's new girlfriends ("Bitches! I hate you too!") are checking me out.

’ve christened the one who sends me anonymous nasty messages "Slutspect #1." In fact, I’ve assigned nicknames for all my stalkers: "Spike" is an ex-boyfriend turned pen pal. He was watching me for months before I casually reached out to make his life easier. "Bullshort" is an ex who rarely sends more than three stanza e-mails, but likes to be in-the-know about my life. Then there’s "Monty," who I reckon jacks off to my party pics. Truly, my formerly broken heart is both flattered and sutured: I share a private, mutual admiration society with those who can’t seem to forget me either. Then again, who is the weirdo spying on me every day from a cemetery in LA—a ghost? A vampire? Marilyn Manson? And what about the stalker camping out in Arkansas’ Hot Springs National Park, or the person (ape?) in the primate reserve at the Bronx Zoo? My Chicago stalker could be a cute lesbian I know, but I thought she had a girlfriend. Also, who are all those foreign clicks? Canada, Australia, Romania, Finland—Frederik Freuchen, my long lost love from the fjords, is that you?

Some might call me self-involved, paranoid—and they have a point. But considering all the nut-jobs running around these days, I say it’s better to be aware. I want a buttload of evidence waiting for use against anyone who tries to double-cross, rape or murder me. Not only do you know who you are, I know who you are. Like my kindred spirit on Craigslist, I too enjoy the fantasy of a nemesis. Should we ever meet in person, I’ll be sure to give you the secret handshake.

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