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Am I Being Cyber-Stalked?

  • August 7, 2010 at 10:13 am

Last year while a contributor for the Tyra Banks show’s “Single and Fierce” section, I wrote an article entitled, “A Facebook Surprise” and shared a vlog entitled, “A Facebook Surprise Update” where I mentioned how stunned I was to receive a friend request from a now married, ex-boyfriend. I wondered after not speaking to him for several years, was it appropriate to regain contact with him? After much deliberation, I decided that I should let the past remain in the past and to ignore his friend request. Balance was once again restored in my life.

That is until I received a request on LinkedIn from another ex-boyfriend. This time it was a bit more personal. I dated this particular ex for about a year. We had a great relationship as we seemed to have a lot in common, enjoy each other’s company and even started talking about marriage and a future together. All that came to a screeching halt, when I received a voicemail from a woman one night claiming that she was his girlfriend and felt suspect about a text she saw I sent to him. “What?” I thought, “How can this be?” This guy and I had spent nights together and even took a week trip away abroad. Hesitantly I called her back to uncover that we were both being played. He was in a “relationship” with both of us and when we confronted him about it, all he could say was, “I lied to you both and I’m sorry.” I was extremely disappointed and heartbroken. Were there signs of infidelity? A few, but he was excellent at covering his tracks. Also when you’re in love, sometimes you look past certain details as you are looking at the world through “rose colored glasses.” This must be how the term, “love is blind” came to be. Months after his indiscretions were exposed he asked if there was any chance for reconciliation. As far as I was concerned, I could forgive him, but I never could forget and I would never be able to trust him again. That was the last conversation we ever had.

Now years later, through the popularity of all the social networking sites, he keeps popping up to request me as a friend. First it was LinkedIn, which I blocked. Then yesterday, it was Twitter, which I also blocked. I’m sure he’s also tried to find me on Facebook, but my privacy settings are so high that he probably hasn’t been able to discover me there. We don’t have any friends in common so I know I’m not being “suggested” for him to friend by these websites, which is starting to beg the question, am I being cyber-stalked?

It’s very difficult for any of us to hide in this day of technological transparency. We have voluntarily given up our privacy in place of sharing our lives online through status and location updates, photos, videos, etc. with our friends and even more often than we realize the rest of the world. But what happens when there are certain people out there that we would prefer to exclude from seeing our information? We have very little control over who can see much of what we share. Is this the price we pay in the age of social networking?

Have you ever been contacted on a social networking site by someone you would rather not be in contact with? Is there anyone you would like to prevent from seeing the information you share through your social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, LinkedIn or Foursquare?

Photo: Lasana Smith