Cyberstalking your man

Since discovering her ex-boyfriend on the net, Kele Scheppers has problems letting go....

I have a huge confession to make. Don't judge me. For almost a week now, I have been (ahem) checking out, my ex-boyfriend's Facebook profile. I couldn't help it. It just sort of, happened. They say ignorance is bliss. It's true.

It started by chance. One Saturday afternoon, he called to say hi. We had a small chat. After two sleepless nights, I woke up on Monday morning overwhelmed with curiosity. I must have been in a state of mild delirium.

I checked all my walls, superwalls, super Xtreme walls, online horoscope, horrorscope, videos, pokes and all the other useless Facebook paraphernalia I've accumulated over two years. That's when the search box happened to catch my eye.

I took three deep breaths and typed his name in. "S.A.N.D.I.L.E." Magically, his picture appeared and (would you believe it!) he's on my network. Which, for the non-Facebook users out there, means I have access to all, yes I mean all, his 'private' information. (Honestly, what's 'private' on the internet?) Two more clicks and I was faced with the dreaded words: "Status: In a relationship with..."

Serves me right. Cue the boiling rabbits. Not quite, but I thought about it. As did three other women I know who were keeping track of their ex-boyfriend's new relationships.

The Cyberspace Psycho Ex-Girlfriend
It gets worse. One of my fabulous, gorgeous and totally loveable friends, fell into despair when she discovered her then-boyfriend was cheating on her when she checked his e-mail. (Why, in this day and age, would any guy give his girlfriend his e-mail password?) Being a curious journalist, she logged in and found a message with the subject line "... thanks for last night." All hell broke loose. In one foul swoop, she deleted all his contacts, changed his password, edited his back-up questions and password verification e-mail. All the poor guy could do was sms asking, "Just please tell me the password."

I can't blame her either. Had I found a message from 'Racey Stacey' in my man's inbox, I would have followed her example. Fortunately, I can only stare at the remnants of my shattered relationship from the other end of cyberspace. It's torturous, yet strangely addictive. I know I have to stop but now that I know it exists, I can't stop looking at it. Unfortunately, it also makes forgetting him a slow, sore process – if at all possible.

The truth is mild cyberstalking is fast becoming acceptable in the 21st century relationship. Before you head off for a date, you quickly Google his name, check on "Don'tdatehim.com" for any skeletons in his closet, double check his profile on Hi5, see if he has a MySpace page and check for a link to his Facebook profile (just in case).

Now that we have digital information overload, we don't bother hiring a private detective to find out that he has a wife and two children. For two extra clicks of your mouse, you can find out his whole dating history since he joined any online network.

You may even be able to contact his ex-girlfriends and calculate his average relationship longevity. You could check out his entire online family album and watch the cute video of his 6 month old daughter crawling on his living-room mat. And it's affordable too. Who needs a little black book when you have the World Wide Web?

Hooking up the easy way

Still, some things have become easier with the advent of digital dating. Like hooking up. No more sweaty palms, awkwardly stuttered phrases and unbearable eye-contact.

Simply send off a slick, sassy, sexy sms and let him throw the ball back in your court, a la Carmen.

In a moment of complete boredom, my spunky housemate, Carmen, sent a message to her crush of three years.

Granted, after three years of staring at the guy, any action was welcome. Her message said: "OK so it's the end of the year... u knew that :)... and erm I always do sumtn spontaneous round this time... sssoooo... how wuld u feel if I randomly gave u a 10 sec smooch nxt time I see u... in the spirit of the coming festive season? :P feel free to be grossed out or totally in awe of my bracery and err... charm??"

He responded saying "Sorry charmin' Carmen (yeah, he's really lame) but will hav 2 raincheck. How bout we get mistletoe n meet in Dec?"

Easy peezy and only cost 35c. Sounded like a deal. Then she discovered the pictures of his girlfriend posted on his Facebook profile.

Have you discovered any 'truths' about your ex (or current) via the web? What are your thoughts on 'sharing' personal info on social networking sites like Facebook?

- Women24

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