This past Sunday, I accidentally ended up at Gleason’s boxing gym in Dumbo, halfheartedly attempting to tone my arms in preparation for my best friend’s impending nuptials.
Somewhere between sucker punching my brother and napping on the mat, I started chatting with a cute guy. He had overheard that we were Russian, and, as a fellow compatriot, was actively trying to make small talk. As we were leaving, he gave me his name, but never asked for my number. Max. (This is possibly the first time I’m using a real name on this blog. MAX, IF YOU HEAR ME, EMAIL ME! firstname.lastname@example.org)
I have to admit that I felt disappointed. After all, it’s not every day that I meet a Russian guy who speaks perfect English, boxes (fine, plenty of them box – it’s a wannabe Klitschko thing), and even lived in Paris for a few years! Unfortunately, this was the only factual data I had on Max, which was the primary reason for my disappointed. Not only had I not reciprocated his friendliness, I had also failed to source any leads to find him via my top-level investigative skills!
You see, in addition to my other God-given talents, I happen to be the Sherlock Holmes of Internet stalking, capable of gathering a dossier on an ex-boyfriend or future Tinder date in ten minutes flat. The Curious Case of Max inspired me to share my skills by creating a step-by-step guide to online stalking.
1. When you meet a guy, make sure to get two pieces of solid, factual information that you can use for your research. The more precise, the better. For example, let’s pretend that Max had attended NYU and now works for Morgan Stanley. (This sounds boring as f*ck like my mother’s dream, but whatever.) Knowing this, I would go to Google and type in “Max, NYU, Morgan Stanley”. Most likely, dozens of results would pop up.
2. Now, it’s time for LinkedIn. WARNING: be careful with LinkedIn. This sneaky site likes to inform people who viewed their profile, which will make you look like Public Creep #1. Hence, log off your profile and stalk anonymously.
3. Once you find his profile, get that last name and get out of there, heading straight to Facebook. Facebook is great because people still have dozens of albums left over from the mid-2000s, when albums were socially acceptable. Also, privacy settings have changed so many times since then, that many of them are visible to the public. Take a trip down memory lane with him, ending with his trip to Brazil in 2008. How fun!
4. If your man is a geek who has managed to CIA-proof his entire page, search his friend list and find his relatives (they have the same last name – duh). Older relatives are the best, because they really know nothing about them privacy settings. They are also sentimental and like to put up albums of their kids and grand kids. An internet-savvy mother is your jackpot. You’ll see pictures of him as a baby, which is essential to predicting your potential future kid’s DNA!
5. If Facebook is not effective enough, go back to Google. Google Image is the best – once you see a picture, click through to the web page, where you could find more useful intelligence!
6. The next move is based on the circumstances. If you never exchanged information (AKA the Max conundrum), tread carefully. I suggest a light Facebook message along the lines of “Hey, we both know Jake – what a small world! Great meeting you, let’s grab a coffee sometime”. Your work is done, the ball is in his court.
7. If you actually have a date set up, you can use all your learnings to prepare. He enjoys traveling? Research that soul-searching trip to Nepal you were thinking of taking. He likes obscure bands on Facebook? Study up on this year’s Pitchfork lineup.
8. FORGET EVERYTHING YOU LEARNED. Pretend that the information never crossed your eyes or laptop screen. Ask organic questions and feign genuine reactions. You’re going for an Oscar here, girl!
I know what you’re thinking. I could have gone far with these skills, the NSA is missing out, I’m a national treasure. I know.
You may also be thinking about calling your local psych ward to have me committed. Please wait until after the wedding, or the bride will kill you.
Also, if anybody sees Max, tell him to meet me at the Pierre this Saturday. We can do a double wedding, minus all the expenses!Lastly, please share your own expert stalking tips in the comments section bellow!