Tell me if this situation sounds like you. If it does, please keep reading.
It's first thing in the morning and you log online to do your regular rounds of liking and commenting on the photos the cutie you follow has posted. Throughout the day, you enjoy her really interesting posts, liking and commenting on those as well. You compliment her in the photos she posts of herself. She doesn't respond, but it's OK because, as you can see from her feed, she's crazy busy and that's certainly going to make it difficult for her to get back to you. That's what social media is all about, right? She posts things because she likes the attention, right?
WRONG. You're being fuckin' creepy, and I'm here to help you immediately stop.
Before you skewer me with, "Well you put yourself out there ..." and "This is what you asked for ..." let's say this, first: Generally, people who post things online enjoy the likes and comments or they wouldn't post them in the first place. But when that turns into exuberant one-way attention, nobody wins. I don't mean this post in the woe-is-me, I'm so pretty I have all of these dudes harassing me online way, either. This is a real-life situation that can bleed into someone feeling harassed, and it's not an uncommon experience for many women on the Internet, especially those who actively engage. This post is about that. There are ladies who do their own crazy things, but we'll save that for later. This one is for the guys.
The definition of "that guy"
We all know the type: that guy is always the one who makes others wonder if he has a job (life?) or not because his social streams are flooded with banal post after banal post, hour after hour, usually with no or almost no interaction from anyone.
Chances are, you just want to keep up with people online and you're bored at work, so you probably don't even know you're being a creeper.
How to tell if you're "that guy"
1) You subscribe to the girl's feed yet you refer to her intimately in comments as if you are friends in real life but aren't. That's creepy. Quit that. Right now.
2) You like or comment on more than two posts a day. I know, I know, everything she says and every pic she posts is solid gold and so freaking cute you can't help yourself. But for god's sake man, get it together. Go ride a bike or something. You wouldn't stand face to face with someone talking at them, going "OMG everything you say is so interesting!" More importantly, you wouldn't interject into a conversation she is having with another person to say, "So cute, this is why I like you so much!" Therefore, don't do it online.
3) A sure-fire way to tell if you're giving someone the heebie-jeebies is if she doesn't respond to your, um, "attention." If you're being ignored, it's because you're sketching her out and she doesn't want to encourage you. You've got the banhammer coming, my friend.
4) If you feel entitled to know a piece of information or disappointed you were left out of the loop on some news because she didn't put it on social media, you should immediately assess your feelings and know that they are totally inappropriate. For those in this category, do us all a favor and step away from the keyboard for a week and develop relationships with the people around you. You have no right to feel entitled to anyone's private life except for your own.
5) The final and most important thing you must never do lest you be labeled "that guy": Show up at an event for the sole purpose of seeing this girl, especially if she didn't explicitly invite you to do so. If you're both there and run into each other, OK, but going to an event because she posted online that she was going to attend and you want to connect (but are not already connected to enough for her to personally invite you to said event) is the lowest of the low. Don't even think about going and not talking to anyone but her, then leaving once you have had a chance to uncomfortably corner her to talk, either. Don't laugh, this happens!
How to deal with "that guy" if you're on the receiving end
It's simple. If you don't like this person's attention and they're just a loose connection online, may the power of the banhammer be with you. Ignore and block. You owe no one an explanation and if they get pissed about it, feel justified in your decision.
I would say if you have any questions on if you're being an instacreeper or not to hit me up online, but ... please don't. Ladies with one of these guys on your hands, I'm here if you need me.