Dear He Said/She Said,
I, like many people at Simpson, am addicted to Facebook. I spend about every waking moment online, poking people and writing on their walls. Now there is this guy who won’t stop messaging me. I didn’t know him but accepted him as a friend and now it seems like he’s almost “stalking” me. He writes me love messages and asks me out. I don’t reciprocate any of his attention, but that doesn’t make him stop. To tell you the truth, he kinda gives me the creeps. How can I get him to leave me alone without hurting his feelings?
Even though technology got you into this mess, you can use electronics to fight back. I find it admirable that you want to let your stalker down easy, but now is not the time for euphemisms. I would recommend texting, faxing, paging, e-mailing, calling or even podcasting him one clear message: leave me alone.
More than likely he is a shy student who will apologize for his actions. However, your uneasiness about the situation is reason enough to take action. If he continues to bother you, contact campus security or the police and avoid going out in public without a friend.
If the straight-forward approach isn’t your style, you can always resort to the childish, passive-aggressive technique. Inform him that your last stalker was a little too clingy or that you only date men with red mustaches. If you see him the next day with red marker all over his face, you know it’s time to call 911.
It’s unfortunate that technology is being exploited to harass women. What happened to the good ol’ days when men were creepy using just a pen and paper?
If that doesn’t work, you could always resort to the ultimate insult, denying his friendship on the Facebook. Could anything be more painful?
First of all, why did you accept him as your friend? I know you probably didn’t want to hurt his feelings, but you don’t even know this guy! Don’t worry about his feelings. You need to worry more about your personal safety and well-being.
I admit, I’m just as addicted to Facebook as the next person, but stop to think what the true point of Facebook is. To make connections, do a little networking? I don’t buy that. It’s to fill each of our own desires to learn about the people we don’t know but want to get to know better. I’ll even admit to doing a little Facebook “stalking” myself – who hasn’t looked up that cute someone from his or her chemistry lab? But you need to remember that you’re putting yourself out there on a public Web site. Anyone at Simpson could view your profile and message you.
You need to let this guy know that you’re not interested. Politely message him back saying something along the lines of, “I’m sorry, but I don’t know you. I would really appreciate it if you didn’t message me anymore.” Then remove him as one of your friends. He should get the clue. If not, report him to Facebook and inform Simpson administration or security. Remember, you’re not in the wrong here for feeling uncomfortable. This guy has definitely crossed a line. Stop and think about whether or not you really want personal information posted on the Internet. You’d be surprised at who has access to it.