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06 July 2003 @ 07:58 pm
Creepy Weirdness, part 2  
Whatever happened to basic politeness?? Socially acceptable behavior?

Wow - I've discovered that in this digital day and age basic politeness has gone *completely* out the the window. Apparently it's normal operating procedure to hunt people down and gather as much information as possible based on a mere interest. To spend hours doing this sort of thing. To follow not a single link that might indicate a bit of intrigue, but to follow dozens, amassing as much data as possible. After exchanging on the order of 15 words with the person in question.

Even scarier is that it seems a bunch of people see no problem with this approach...


Perhaps I was raised in a more genteel and enlightened manner. This isn't how it works in my world.

(see comments for thread (and replies) started by the person who behaved in this manner)

-the redhead-
...thinking the full background check idea might be acceptable after all...
-the redhead-theredhead on July 6th, 2003 07:23 pm (UTC)
Sunday July 6, 2003
5:05:49 PM PDT

New Message

I would generally agree that in polite society, you don't go to extraordinary lengths to snoop.

I would like to make it understood that I had no intention of finding out where she lived, or other highly personal information.

I merely did a search for the nickname, thinking that I'd find a Yahoo or MSN profile somewhere, or perhaps a personal web-page with some more photos or poetry or something (like many people have).

However, when your search turns up a website with that nickname, you think... "Hey! She's got a personal webpage... isn't that nice!"

So you go to that site and find that it's in a fair amount of disarray, but still has some neat stuff on it about that person. You're thinking, "I see it's still under construction (or deconstruction), but it's still open to public access, put there by her. She must not care."

You also find that same nickname in e-mail address listings for special interest websites, along with a full name, address, and phone number.

Before you can type "Super-cali-fragil-istic-expi-ali-docious", you have a dossier on this gal, most of which was put into the public eye by HER.

I also have to wonder about this lady's definition of "polite", when I asked her in chat (before doing this 'snooping') if I might e-mail her. She agrees and says she'll reply later that same day. I'd think that keeping one's promises is polite.

The 'snooping' in question was done a couple days after having no word back. To make matters worse, instead of "better-late-than-never" reply to the e-mail, which is perfectly understandable if this individual is very busy... one sees, several days later, that she's been active on the PMM website in other ways.

Meanwhile, your conscience is burning you for what you know about this person, as well as your curiosity peaked. So you send another short e-mail to her, with an open invitation to start a dialog. She responds, saying she's afraid of boring someone with the details of her life.

It is at this point that I responded with what I knew of her and how I knew of it, and told her that I was by no means bored, but quite interested.

So what started as an innocuous search turned into something much more than I expected or wanted. But you can't "unlearn" something. And, to use the old genteel language, having a lady at a disadvantage is not something a gentleman is comfortable with. My instinct (as a gentleman) is to even the playing field as quickly as possible.

Now... I invite anyone who thinks I behaved impolitely to explain to me how.


P.S. It is still my hope that she and I can still become friends. Perhaps down the road a ways, she and I can look back and have a laugh at the awkward stumbling we did when we first met in this so imperfect medium of the Internet.