I Shared Too Much Information Online: A Case Study
Selma, 24, enjoyed meeting people online until one of them became a little too determined to date her.
“I think my generation has so many ways of meeting new people and the internet has been a great tool for this. It allows you to meet a lot more people than you normally would and get to know them without wasting the time or expense on dates. I had been using internet dating for about 7 months before I met Tony and had always enjoyed it.
“I guess maybe I had become a bit complacent as it had always felt like a safe way of dating and I felt very comfortable and secure talking to guys online. When Tony came along he seemed very sweet and we were soon chatting online 2 or 3 times a day. I would tell him about my day at work, my friends and what I was doing that weekend.”
Too Much Information“I had been chatting to Tony for about 2 weeks when Valentine's Day came around. When I arrived in work that morning I found a huge bunch of flowers on my desk. Obviously I was very excited to receive them but just as confused when I saw they were from Tony. How did he know where I worked? When I messaged him to say thanks and ask how he knew, he said I had told him.”
Selma didn’t think much of it and just thought it was a really sweet thing to do until Tony made another appearance in her life.
“A few days later I went to my weekly yoga class and as I came out a man called my name. I looked round and didn’t recognise him until he introduced himself as Tony. Apparently I had told him about my yoga class and thought it would be a good way to finally meet me.”
Lesson Learnt“We went for a drink as I thought it would be rude not to but I was a bit freaked out by him turning up. However, it was only the beginning. Over the next month he kept turning up wherever I went and when I found him sat on my doorstep I lost it. It was weird and scary that he knew so much about my life. I shouted at him to leave me alone but he seemed so calm about the whole thing, as if it was perfectly normal.
“Eventually I called the police and while they said there was nothing they could do, they agreed to talk to him. I still think I see him around sometimes but he seems to have left me alone. It’s amazing that I didn’t even realise all the information I was giving away when I was chatting to him online. It never occurred to me that by telling him details about my life he could piece them together and know where I worked, lived and played. It was a weird experience and although I still speak to people online, I hold back a lot more details about my day to day life.