If you use dating apps, you know how easy it is to see a match's Instagram and your mutual friends. Throw in where they went to school and where they work, and you can probably find them on Facebook or figure out their ex's name or find their mom's Pinterest, if you're really determined. But should you stalk your crush online?
You don't want to mess around with your safety, so it might be worth running a few basic checks before agreeing to meet up with anyone. You could try to verify their employment on LinkedIn to see if your match is who they say they are. Or you could run their name through Google to make sure there are no hits like, "Alleged Serial Killer On the Run," with their name and face.
But even if you're only out to maintain your safety, it can be pretty tempting to go full-on Nancy Drew and creep on the object of your affections. But that can lead you to stumble across a cringe-worthy paper they wrote during their freshman year of college, or a long-forgotten YouTube account they made with their high school friends, or a treasure trove of photos with an intimidating ex. And don't even get me started on what could happen if you accidentally double-tap a photo from months ago. So yeah, stalking has its risks.
I talked to 10 women about how much research they do before a first date. How do you stalking habits measure up?
This woman is pro-stalking for a very good reason.
— Holly, 22
This woman almost never stalks.
— Shaila, 23
The more interested this woman is, the more she stalks someone.
— Genevieve, 24
This woman used Instagram to help her decide how to swipe.
— Radhika, 21
This woman has found majorly important intel on Instagram.
— Katie, 22
This woman runs a brief background check.
— Becky, 20
This woman discovered her match had a girlfriend.
— Courtney, 22
This woman doesn't stalk, but she wants to see her matches' basic info.
— Devin, 25
This woman doesn't stalk unless she gets weird vibes from someone.
— Yolany, 18
This women only looks up men she actually wants to go out with.
— Chelsea, 25
This woman started stalking after she learned her boyfriend was married.
— Christina, 24
After I spoke to these 10 women, I felt more confident in taking a stance: I'm pro-stalking. A little bit of research never hurts, especially when it weeds out dudes who are married, or who proudly wave Confederate flags, or who happen to be your cousins. Yikes.
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