In this day and age, it's somewhat impossible to find a person who's not on some sort of social media platform, and thank God for that.
As much as we get aggravated with these sites, we really don't know where we'd be without it -- especially when it comes to people we don't know, want to get to know and people we already know.
Sure, this may sound strange, creepy and a little too invasive, but if you post it on the Internet, it really is just fair game.
And honestly, you (and everyone else) have creeped on Facebook or Instagram while your friend yells in your ear, "Don't accidentally like anything!!!"
So how do you make yourself feel better about your social media habits? Well...
1. Stalking is people you don't know, research is people you do know
If you are investigating the profiles of people you actually know, can it even be considered weird? Isn't that the purpose of the search bar? If they didn't want to be "researched" well then they shouldn't have a profile... just saying.
2. Stalking is waiting outside their window screen, research is through the computer screen
Internet creeping can at least be considered safe! It's not as if you are actually invading their personal space... right?
3. Stalking is all of the time, research is only when you need it
Stalkers never cease to stop checking up on their targets; social media research only occurs in times of necessity.
4. Stalking is behind the back, research is to the Face... book
As long as you don't accidentally like anything you shouldn't have, then creep away. Just be careful while backstalking!
5. Stalking is LinkedIn, research is Instagram
If you have to go to the deep, dark depths of LinkedIn, you may have gone too far.
There's a solid chance that you don't have the subscription that doesn't alert people when you view their profiles. So if this is the route you're taking, well then you deserve that creepy label.
6. Stalking is following on the street, research is following on Twitter
It's not creepy if they are aware you are following their social media moves...
7. Stalking is consulting no one, research is consulting everyone you know
Stalking is especially creepy when no one is aware it's going on. At least when you're doing research, you can ask your friends for help.
8.Research is back-stalking three months ago, stalking is back-stalking three months ago and liking it
Is there anything worse than accidentally liking a picture you shouldn't have?
9. Research is checking someone's story on Snapchat, stalking is knowing someone's best friends
If you checked someone's friends on Snapchat then proceeded to stalk them too... well, I think everyone knows you need a little bit of help.
10. Stalking is being creepy, research is being prepared
How else are you going to prepare for a date if you don't do a little background digging first? Or if you are looking into a roommate from Craigslist?
You need to prepare yourself with as much knowledge as possible before embarking on an unfamiliar situation... at least that's what you will continue to tell yourself.
11. Stalking is a crime, research is a pastime
What are you going do at work when you have time to kill? Browse through social media, of course.
Before you know it, you're on your ex-boyfriend's sister's boyfriend's sister's page and you don't even know how you ended up there.
12. Stalking is hiding behind trees, research is hiding behind a username
If they can't see you creeping and never actually find out... did it ever really happen?
13. Stalking is looking at their ex from high school, research is stalking their ex from college
If you don't already know your partner's ex, then it's completely natural to be curious about his last relationship.
However, if you are stalking through every relationship this person has ever had, you need a reality check because that is far from normal.
14. Stalking is taking pictures, research is looking at pictures
There's no crime in just looking at pictures, but when you start being the one who takes them, well that is just crossing the line.
15. Stalking is making yourself feel better, research is making yourself feel worse
When you start digging for dirt, you know you are never actually going to find anything good. Why we still do this is beyond me, but apparently we never learn our lesson until it's too late.