Are you tired of watching people sleep? Getting bored of collecting fingernail clippings and used tissues? Is it too much of a hassle to leave threatening notes on that special someone’s front porch? Sounds like you need to grab a webcam and e-stalk from the comfort of your own home.

As the stalkee of a handful of middle school stalkers, I feel that America’s favorite pastime needs renovation. Being read the Bible over the phone was fine once, and the first love letter – the “I hope you’ll forget me when I’m dead” letter – was a novelty. But the Bible’s an awfully long book, and I would instead recommend e-stalking as the least invasive method to creep out the best friends you never had.

Some people, notably the police, say that stalking isn’t the best way to express yourself, but there is a right way to stalk. The following is a condensation of my own personal collection of data, interviews, and ethnographies pertaining to the art of stalking.

For the beginner, the Internet Movie Data Base is the best place to start. Here, you can stalk people you will never meet – unless you got the info from Paris Hilton’s cell phone contact list during the fifteen minutes it was posted online. Learn interesting facts about obscure celebrities. Get good at “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”

Johnny Depp was a.) born in 1963, b.) was nick-named “Colonel” by Hunter S. Thompson, and c.) is 5’10.” Measure this height on your wall, guesstimate an outline of his body, and then make a mosaic of Johnny using only prescription medications.

Imdb-ologist Carolyn Wise ’05 describes her experiences as “so fresh!” The Berg, who for personal reasons declined to release her “real” name, admits that is “restaurant quality!” and “janky!”

If you’re not familiar with the Google search engine, you’ve probably been living at the bottom of a well for the past decade. But seriously, Google’s great. It’s fun for everybody. In interviews, Abby Williams ’05, of, let me in on a few secrets of the Google e-stalking trade.

“It’s all about true love,” she says as she begins to laugh like an old man. Williams leans in slightly to whisper, “You can find out so much about people – their parents’ names, what their coaches said about them in high school. My ‘project’ worships Will Smith, and now I know that.” I suggested Williams contact Lucy and Walter, her ‘project’s’ parents. Their address is available online through the magic of

Now that you’ve discovered, it’s time to move beyond half-hearted poking wars of attrition. Befriend people you do and don’t know. I, for one, have befriended the entire Duke football team and all of the Smiths at Harvard. This is a particularly interesting ethnographic study because you get messages from your new friends ranging from “do I know you?” to “you can’t befriend me just because my facebook picture is hot.”

Abby Williams even has her own stalking group: “Abby Williams’ Stalkers Anonymous.” Presented as a safe-haven for e-stalkers, Williams has provided the ideal forum for frustrated peers.

If you use correctly, you can instantly connect to people. For example, if you run into someone you recognize, strike up a conversation: “Hey, you’re So-and-so from You’re in WWS 342, and you like to do push-ups. Check out my webcam.” In a digital world, information is currency, and sometimes you can buy love.


If you’ve mastered these previous steps, it’s time for you to add the object of your…uh, whatever, to your instant messenger buddy list. In fact, before you IM, install a picture of your buddy as your icon. Use the picture of him/her playing soccer – either the snapshot that you got off his or her high school’s website, or one of the ones Lucy sent you in the mail. A good IM conversation should go something like this:

StaLkeR4U: hi

(long pause)

Janine4382: um, who is this?

(long pause)

StaLkeR4U: hi

Janine4382: do i know u?

StaLkeR4U: hi

Janine4382: LOL is this brett? ur so funny

StaLkeR4U: no.

StaLkeR4U: do u want to meet my parents?

Janine4382: what??

StaLkeR4U: they like u.

StaLkeR4U: wanna cyber?

In the vortex of these precious instant messenger moments, we communicate ourselves most clearly. Fulfillment and validation await you on the Internet.


The Internet, however, is really a portal to an entire untouched canvas of experience. Use the information you got on the internet to…sign your stalkees up for mailing lists. Give their address out freely. Buy them subscriptions to nudie magazines. Write detailed bathroom graffiti about them. Find their cell phone number and leave voice messages of you heaving into the receiver and then calmly stating, “I know what you’re wearing right now.”

If this doesn’t work for you, maybe you’re choosing your targets incorrectly. If stalking living, breathing, eating people doesn’t do the trick, try a coma patient. Do you feel like you’re always a coma wedding bridesmaid, never a coma wedding bride? Maybe 2005’s going to be a great year for you.

But, honestly, if this doesn’t do it for you, I recommend you crawl into the bottom of a well and sit there for a long time. If you wait long enough, someone just might decide to stalk you.

Further Reading:

The Disappearance, Collin Wilcox

Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov

Voodoo!: A Chrestomathy of Necromancy, ed. Bill Pronzini

Curious George Goes to the Morgue, H. A. Rey

Call Me Crazy: A Memoir, Anne Heche

I Know You Really Love Me, Doreen Orion