I’ve been wanting to write and publish this experience for a long time. I am so excited that the article I wrote for www.hercampus.com has been published! Please click here to read my article about my internet stalking experience. Then, read the rest of this post for a crazy update!
UPDATE: After submitting my article for publishing on HerCampus, I headed for a mini-vacation with my girlfriends to NJ. It was spontaneous and so fun. We decided to road trip the eight hours to the shore, stay at a cheap motel and just enjoy the beach! It was definitely one of the highlights of my summer. However, I had no idea that I would actually meet the person “Lauren” talked to for a year face to face.
Mike and I still follow each other on social networking sites. I knew he was from New Jersey, but he was not from the area we were staying at. He just so happened to be in Sea side Heights that weekend (weird, right?). He uploaded a picture of his friend on the boardwalk where my friends and I were. I knew we were on the same boardwalk and it was only a matter of time before we ran into each other. After all, the boardwalk is just a straight line.
About fifteen minutes later, I recognized the friend in the picture walking toward us. I glanced to the left where I saw name. When I said hello, he covered his face and said “this is not really happening..” He recognized me from the pictures “Lauren” had been sending him for the year that they talked online. He just kind of looked at all of us for a minute, taking it all in. We ended up talking on the boardwalk for 45 minutes.
I introduced him to my friends by their real names, not the names Lauren had given them. “This is so weird. I feel like I know you guys, but I don’t at all,” he said. I truly felt sorry for what Lauren had done to him. It was obvious he was still upset and sensitive to what happened. “We talked for a year,” he said. “I just still can’t believe it.”
I apologized for everything he had gone through and wished him the best before leaving. It still is completely mind blowing just how small the world is. Out of all the people in the world, “Lauren” found me 6 years ago. Out of all the people in the world, she chose Mike to talk to. The way I found the websites still seems like a one in a million chance. Then, after all this time, Mike and I just so happened to be walking down the same boardwalk. It’s so hard to comprehend. The world is so much smaller than it seems.
This has been such a learning experience for me. I am much more guarded about social media and networking than before, but I want to turn this negative experience into one people can learn from.
Contact me at email@example.com with any questions, comments or feed back!
Thanks for reading!