You may have been discarded and reluctantly commenced a campaign of no contact or, you have escaped and you have resolved to ensure that we do not reach out to you. You want your no contact to succeed, to stand firm and remain effective. One of the most frequent ways you scupper your no contact is by engaging in social media stalking.
Oh I know why you do it. You think that it does not count if you are watching us but not engaging with us. I will explain below how this has significant consequences for the prospects of success for your no contact campaign, but first of all, how does this behaviour manifest?
- Repeatedly checking on our social media by looking at our profiles;
- Repeatedly checking on the social media profiles of people connected to us – family, friends and/or the new primary source;
- Asking your friends to spy on our social media if we have blocked you;
- Establishing false profiles for the purpose of being granted access again. Not to communicate but to gather information.
- Checking to see if we are following you say on Instagram or Twitter even though we may not be directly engaging with you.
There is little doubt that social media has had a significant impact on society and behaviours. Its various effects are not the purpose of discussion here save that social media is habit forming. How many people go to their social media profiles first thing in the morning to see what has happened over night? There is the expectation of activity and new things to discover – new likes, comments, new pictures – and it is akin to opening presents on Christmas morning. How many people check their social media on their commute to work, whilst they are using the toilet, sat in the bath, waiting for a friend, waiting in a queue, during a break at work, when they should be working, when there is a lull in the conversation on a date? It is highly addictive and people have conditioned themselves to look at their social media on a repeated basis each and every day. It is the default position. Experiencing a lull? Rather than talk to someone, engage in your own thoughts or take in the world around you, many people stare at that screen and immerse themselves in their social media.
Ray Bradbury in his novel Fahrenheit 451 identified people’s preoccupation with “quick fixes” even though social media was decades away. He was concerned that mass media (which social media is) was usurping an interest in literature. in the novel, Clarisse McClellan comments to Guy Montag (a fireman whose job it is to burn books) about how she spends time walking around actually looking at things rather than engaging with the parlour walls, the fun parks and the racing car circuits (these items being the mode du jour of acquiring a quick fix of entertainment in a superficial and meaningless manner). She notices the dew on the grass, the smells in the air, the dawn and such like. This is alien to Montag and most of society, all of whom have become obsessed with the quick fix.
Social media has become the fun parks et al which Bradbury wrote of. Its grip on people is strong and habitual and as part of this it has become an instinctive method by which you endanger your no contact by stalking our social media. Owing to the fact that you habitually check your own social media, it follows that it is just a click or two’s effort to then expand this habit into checking our social media. It is very easy to do. You engage in this social media stalking of us, for several reasons including :-
- You still want a connection with us. If you have been discarded you do this stalking and it satisfies to some degree the craving to remain connected with us. If you have been blocked, you do this vicariously through your friends reporting. If you have escaped, you know you ought not to have anything to do with us, but your still rampant emotional thinking means you still desire a connection and you regard this as a ‘safe way of achieving this. It is not.
- You want to see signs that we miss you, that we are thinking of you.
- You want to know what we are doing.
- You want to see if we have removed pictures of you (or you and us) or kept them up in order to maintain hope that the Formal Relationship might be resurrected.
- You want to see if we are mentioning someone else yet in terms of a new primary source.
- If there is a new primary source you want to compare yourself to him or her.
- If there is a new primary source you want to see how we are interacting with them. Is it in the same way as we did with you, is it better, is it worse, are there signs of trouble between us?
- You want to see if our life is turning to shit in order to derive some satisfaction from this occurring as ‘reward’ for our abhorrent treatment of you.
- You want to ascertain if there is some message, be it overt or covert towards you which you can seize on.
- You need to receive answers because we do not provide them to you.
- You need to ascertain why you have been discarded and why we are with somebody so soon because (from your perspective) there is no rational explanation for our behaviour.
Accordingly, stalking our social media serves to address some of your needs but it actually works against the successful implementation and maintenance of no contact.
- You are allowing the Ever Presence to continue. Your habitual checking of our social media means that each and every day (and possibly several times a day) you are thinking about us. This means you are allowing (or risking dependent on where your recovery is at) the emotional infection to rise and continue. This happens just because you are thinking about us by checking our social media.
- Not only are you perpetuating the Ever Presence but you are making it more potent because you are stoking your emotions. It might be regret, sorrow, hurt, anger, desire, bittersweet happiness as you see a picture of us, a picture of you still on our page, a picture of us together, reference to something we used to do together and so on. Whatever it might be, this is kindling those emotions and in doing so it allows the Ever Presence to be reinforced and it is allowing emotional thinking to increase, which as you know, equates to risking making bad decisions because you are not using cool, hard logic.
- You are inherently weakening your No Contact regime by exposing yourself to this daily ritual. All it takes is for the emotional infection to increase to a level whereby you see a meme posted by us which reminds you of an occasion together and you see it as some kind of olive branch by us which makes you contact us direct. You may see a comment made about you which angers you and therefore you contact us to tell us what an arsehole we are. You may feel jealous about the things we are saying about our new primary source so you contact us to rail against us or plead with us to tell us what she has got that you have not. In all of these instances and more you are weakening your no contact.
- You are paralysing yourself. You are not allowing yourself to move forward and cross the emotional sea. In fact, whilst you may be sat in your logic vessel, avoiding the rising emotional sea so far, all you are doing is sailing around in circles and there will come a point where those emotional waves spill on to your logic vessel and you are swamped.
- You are denying yourself the helpful effects of other distractions. If you left our social media alone, you would concentrate on other things. It might be work, hobbies or a new relationship and those things will distract you from the impact of Ever Presence. Your ritualistic observance of our social media is more likely to prevent you doing those things or at least gaining the distracting benefit which they provide.
- We count on you stalking our social media and we are stalking yours. If we identify through your posts and comments that it is clear you are observing our social media then this signals to us that it will be easier to breach your no contact and this will lower the bar on the Hoover Execution Criteria.
It is understandable why you stalk our social media. Chief amongst those reasons is that you think that it will do no harm if you do this because it is not direct contact and we may not know you are doing it. However, for the reasons explained above, engaging in this behaviour is likely to lead to your no contact to being weakened and even breached.