Admit it: you’re a creep.
If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be reading this right now. You read the title and thought “Ah! That’ll be funny! Not that it applies to me…” (more than likely aloud in case anyone walked in and saw you reading it) But inside you’re tingling. Are there pins and needles running up-and-down your arms? Did a little bit of wee emerge upon clicking this? It did, didn’t it? Weirdo.
But it’s okay. You’re in good company: for I am also of the creep variety.
And I’m not ashamed to admit it either…studies have shown* that my creeping ability has saved me from:
- 12 long-term relationships with women who will end up marrying their cats;
- 17 blind dates where seeing the girl in the flesh would have MADE me go blind;
- 64 potential one-night stands where armpit-tickling would have constituted ‘heavy-petting’;
- And 1,248 HOURS of Facebook chatting that have since been put to better use…chatting to less crazy people on Facebook…
Creeping is not only a cool trick. It’s a 21st century life skill. A necessity.
In fact, anyone who goes out of their way to tell you that they don’t creep, is the biggest creep of all. It’s just factual.
People ask how we lived our lives before social-networking, guffawing as they do so. But it’s a legitimate question. Beforehand, you might have been friends or in a relationship with someone for years before they showed you their ‘lair’ (hint: they usually call them a ‘secret hang-out spot’. It’s always…ALWAYS…a lair).
So, with all of this in mind, I have taken it upon myself to devise a handy list of 10 points learned by sheer creeping graft to make you a social-networking guru. 10 points that will lead you to, once and for all, find out whether this new add request should be forever filed under ‘Fuck’, ‘Marry’ or ‘Kill’.
We all know about MySpace pics and the like, but this is Advanced Creeping. This is creeping so creepy that even the creepiest of creeps wouldn’t creep on your page if they found out how much creepier you are than them.
In no particular order:
1. If they have less than 25 pics, beware!
This is basic enough. The only people who don’t have over 25 pictures of themselves on Facebook are people who don’t go out much, ugly people and my granny.
2. Check their ‘Tagged Photos’, not the album pics
Also relatively straightforward: tagging is now absolutely integral to the average Joe’s photo-viewing experience. It has replaced the painful days of yore when boring relatives or friends would sit us down and have to tell us who every…single…person in their holiday snaps was, following it up with an amusing anecdote that would leave us wondering if we had time to make a noose before they returned from inside their own arse. And the beautiful part, for creeps, is that people don’t have absolute control over pics they are tagged in. They can MySpace the shit out of their profile pics all they like, but unless they don’t ever leave their house then one incriminating photograph is bound to slip through the net.
Tagged photos can be your worst enemy if it’s the morning after and you don’t remember past your friend screaming “SHOTS!!!” at the bar. But they can also be your best friend if, that same morning, you find a text message ending in ‘x x x’ from an unknown number.
3. If their activities, interests and ‘Likes’ involve more capitalised words than non-capitalised
A very telling and underrated method of gauging someone’s real personality. It doesn’t really matter what’s actually written in caps, just the fact that they constantly identify with shouted statements is enough of a clue that you’re in for a headache. The capitalised content can vary from the incomprehensibly dumb (‘AFTER A NITE OUT WHEN U FEEL UR TITS AND TINK WOW, I HAV TITS!’) to the Fritzliously terrifying (Random person likes MAKING SANDWICHES…WITH YOUR MIND) But it’s almost never a positive, regardless.
4. If they tag people in their statuses who don’t then ‘like’ said statuses
Not much explanation needed here: if someone posts “Great night tonight with Ima Neverseethispersonagain” and Ima doesn’t like it…obviously it was only great for one of the pair. Befriend this person and you can expect several cinema dates that start with you saying “I thought you said there’d be a group of us going?” and end with them laughing uncontrollably into your popcorn…at the latest horror franchise reboot. (Or Dinner for Schmucks…either way, something that’s not funny)
5. If they are topless, in-shape and insist you know this
100% of women that I’ve spoken to agree on this. There are certain times when it is acceptable for guys to post pictures of themselves in states of near-nudity, e.g. if they are on holidays and would’ve been half-naked anyway, if they are professional models and were paid to take that picture or when they are clearly unfit and that’s what is funny.
The one’s I’m referring to here are the guys who possess perfect 6-packs and post pictures of themselves in the mirror while stood in their bathroom. Did you ever notice how the toilet seat is always up in the background? That’s because God is vomiting behind them. You may wish you could super-impose this guy’s abs onto your current boyfriend, but if those abs could talk they would have a voice like ET’s and be saying “No, Nigel, she won’t mind if you try a golden shower on the first date. Now oil me and wash the shame off once and for all…”
6. If you’re unsure and they have mutual friends
So most women pretty much know to avoid random add requests from guys with no mutual friends. On the other hand, guys who get these requests think “If she doesn’t look like Shrek and I get desperate…the lads will never find out!”
But when is having mutual friends dangerous? Simple, when you haven’t made your mind up. That poke might have been flattering. The profiler may give off a ‘To be continued…’ vibe. They may have had five members of the opposite sex like their last status update (or have more than one “Mail xxx” message on their wall). But you could still be walking into Rapey McRaperson for all you know of this person. Gals could be encountering a renowned player. Guys could be encountering a renowned player…of World of Warcraft.
If your one mutual friend sees your new-found friendship appear on their wall, it’s perfectly within Facebook etiquette for them to comment saying “How do you two know each other??” What if the other person doesn’t have the social nous to realise that simply uttering the words “Plenty of Fish” in public will see you uninvited from work socials for the foreseeable future? It’s just never worth the risk…
7. If they have ginger hair
Sorry gingers. It’s just creeper law, nothing personal. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with you…you’re just the type of person that someone needs to get to know for a long time before they decide they want to be seen in public with you.
8. If there’s an unnatural amount of pictures with children…different children…
Having a profiler with a kid is just cute. It shows that they have a sensitive side, values that extend beyond abs, tits or pouts, and a possible entire exciting life that you have yet to learn about.
Having another picture with a different kid, maybe even 5-6 different kids, is also understandable. They could have a large, Catholic family. They could simply be a caring soul who wants to devote their lives to the future of the planet. If they’re older, maybe they are their kids from a previous relationship that just didn’t work out. Who are we to judge and, hey, maybe that’s an interesting story that you genuinely want to hear about down the line.
But if they have full albums of pictures of them with dozens of different children…make no mistake about it…theeeey’re a paedophile.
9. If they enjoy more than three different vampire franchises
Hey, True Blood is a good TV show! Let The Right One In was probably my favourite horror movie of the past decade. And I know at least…four (relatively) normal people who enjoyed at least one Twilight movie! Vampires can be a hoot. Sucking blood, and whatnot, can be hours of fun for the whole family!
Then the law of three comes into play. No, not the Wiccan prophecy similar to karma. In fact, maybe it’s just a law that I made up. The law of three states that if something occurs more than two times, then it is a proven fact. Take, for example, a girl who gives a guy three curious looks at a bar…she wants the dick. The guy who shoehorns a story about him having a shit into a conversation three times in the space of an hour…he’s a freak. And so on.
Everyone enjoys a good vampire story. But what do the three above franchises have in common, for example? They illustrate vampires to be a forlorn, internalised bunch who lash out when confronted with difficult situations. They’re fun, in a dangerous kind of way, for a while but ultimately end up making your life way more complicated than is healthy for any decent human being. They’re all like that one ex we had way back and spend the rest of our lives trying to avoid. So if you spot more than three vampire franchises in someone’s favourites, perhaps they actually are that ex in disguise!!! (Vampires have disguises right? I don’t know…I just watch True Blood for the tits…)
10. If they like their own statuses…
‘Nuff said. People who constantly like their own statuses (especially vague, banal ones such as “MEN! EUUGGGHH!!!”) may as well be appearing on your wall as ‘X has checked into A Lonely Adulthood’.
Rick Nash hosts ‘The Weekly Ranto’ podcast on iTunes. He is also a DJ, former professional wrestler and full-time arsehole. The opinions represented here are his own, not representative of anyone else, because nobody else has the balls to say them in public. For more rantings, follow Rick at www.twitter.com/AMTRick