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Due Diligence Or Cyber Stalking?


Gar1eth
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I must have had an Internet discernible glow about me after my meeting almost two weeks ago with @Mikegaite. (Thank you, Mike). Why, you ask? Because I had one of my very infrequent, once in a Purim 'meetings' (hook-up) with a guy.

 

This guy (Tom) wasn't a complete stranger. I had had a few very brief conversations with him on one of the sites over the last few months. When I asked him, 'Tom' had said that he liked full-figured guys (I probably used the term 'chubby tops' and not full-figured). I'm sure many of you know how it goes. We (me more than him) had made vague statements regarding meeting at some point which I thought there was a good chance of never happening. However, he was cute. So I was hoping we would meet at some point.

 

Then last Wednesday I was up late. I couldn't sleep. It was around 2:20 AM. I may have been reading (I'm currently re-reading some books by Anne McCaffrey)-but reading or not-I was definitely on some of the 'sites'. I wasn't expecting a lot. It's difficult enough at a more normal hour for me to find someone interested.

 

But all of a sudden Tom showed up online. I texted and repeated in the way of general conversation that I hoped we could meet sometime. Tom responded back and said, "We could meet now." I was a bit taken aback. This was 2:30 AM by now. I asked him whether he actually meant right now. He said yes. I told him I couldn't host. I figured this would be where the meeting fell through as most guys can't host either. But he said he could and sent me the address. I 'GPS' the address. It's 23 miles from me. It will take around 35 minutes. Usually if the hosting isn't a problem, the distance I am from the more populated areas is. Tom indicates it's not a problem. And then he disconnects from the site rather abruptly.

 

Now Tom and I have never even spoken on the phone. I don't think I even had his phone number at this point. I'm wondering if he's really interested or possibly it's some kind of prankster considering the hour. (Yes 'pranks' happen. Someone(s?) on Grindr tried to prank me into meeting him(them) at a government building the other day. In fact three 'potential' Grindr guys contacted me that day all within the space of 15 minutes. They seemed too good to be believable. And I didn't believe.)

 

So I decide to do a little checking. I have a reverse phone number and address app. I enter his address. It pops up with a name that is consistent with some initials he uses on the 'dating' site. I consider this pure due diligence at this point. I wanted to know if possible before I drove for 23 miles at 2:40 AM-whether this was a real address. And if it was, maybe the name of who lived there. So the address checked out.

 

I then had to decide whether to go out in the rain at now 2:50 AM to meet an unknown guy who lived 35 minutes away remembering all the time that the later it is, the more likely it is to meet guys who are drunk or high. But I considered all that-and my final conclusion was that the guy was cute, and that I don't get that many offers. I decided to meet him, and hope he looked like his pictures, wasn't high, and wasn't a deranged killer.

 

So we met. It actually turned out spectacular except he wasn't into bottoming for a first time meeting with a stranger. Other than that the meeting was pretty perfect. I know I had a nice time. And from the way he acted, I think he did too. Both from his 'physical' reactions:rolleyes:, and the fact that I tried to leave at three different times because he had to be at work at noon. I knew he needed some sleep, but he didn't want me to go. :) (I finally insisted he needed to get some sleep, and I left around 6 AM).

 

After all this, we still hadn't exchanged phone numbers. So I asked for his before I left. He gave it to me. I told him I'd text him, so he could have mine too-which I did.

 

After I had left, I used the reverse phone number app on the number he gave me. It came up with his name, the same way his address had. I don't really consider this stalking either.

 

But now we come to the questionable area. After I arrived back home, I decided to both Google and enter his name on Facebook. I found hits on both. Tom has some small notoriety in the community. He's even made a few YouTube videos involved with a hobby of his. It also turns out we have a Facebook friend in common. This friend of mine isn't really a 'friend friend'. Patty is a community activist with a local following. I've meet her a few times. But she has something like 800 friends on Facebook. I don't know how well she really remembers me. But she has responded to a few quips I've made on her FB Page. And she's liked a few things on my Page too. So I don't know whether Tom actually knows Patty or whether his relationship with her is more like mine.

 

But through Google and Facebook, I also now know where he works.

 

So I liked meeting Tom. I would like to meet again-although I'm doubting that is going to happen. But I could be wrong.

 

I don't consider looking up his address before we met for as much information as I could get (that was both for my own protection as well as my curiosity) or even looking up his phone number after the meeting (to see if it looked like his actual number) to be stalking.

 

My question concerns googling his name, looking at his Youtube videos, and looking him up on Facebook after the meeting. Was this impermissible stalking considering the fact that our 'visit' was over.

 

Let me say further that even though I have the information, I have no intention of asking to be his friend on Facebook, of going by his house again (unless asked), or his place of business.

 

I doubt we will meet again even though I know he really liked our time together (yes-I am able to acknowledge that there are some people with whom I am very sexually compatible!!! All of y'all keeping tally, might want to make note of one of my rare instances of being pro-Gman regarding my abilities. ;) I could describe in depth Tom's and my time together. But I'd start blushing. :oops:).

 

While I would love to meet him again, that's the unfortunate nature of hook-ups. Sometimes even for the ones that go great, it turns out to be a one time fling :(. And why I feel we aren't going to meet again is not the subject of my query here.

 

My query concerns the use of my mad cyber investigative skills. :rolleyes:

 

Gman

 

PS There have been a few facts and names 'massaged' to protect the innocent-or in this case me. But on the whole aside from the mild massaging, the above is all true.

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Ok, Gman, I'll go first. That's not stalking, all you did was satisfy your natural curiosity. You met a guy who piqued your interest, so you found out some information that was freely available on the Internet. It's not like you hacked into his bank accounts or tax records. He knows you know where he lives, so he clearly doesn't want to remain anonymous.

You liked the guy and want to see him again. Ring or text him, tell what a great time you had and ask if he'd like to meet up again. Good luck.

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Ok, Gman, I'll go first. That's not stalking, all you did was satisfy your natural curiosity. You met a guy who piqued your interest, so you found out some information that was freely available on the Internet. It's not like you hacked into his bank accounts or tax records. He knows you know where he lives, so he clearly doesn't want to remain anonymous.

 

Thanks @Marlfox. I appreciate you offering your opinion. My thoughts ran the same way as yours. But it's easy to convince yourself when the little head gets involved that what you are doing is fine when really it's not. And you good folk on the Forum are one of the only places I have to turn for a sounding board right now.

 

You liked the guy and want to see him again. Ring or text him, tell what a great time you had and ask if he'd like to meet up again. Good luck.

 

I did. A few minutes after I left, I texted

 

"This is Gman-I had a great time. Thanks."

 

(Before I left, unless he was flat out lying, he said he had a good time. He certainly acted as if he were having a good time. He even said something about seeing me again)

 

I didn't hear anything back after I texted which wasn't a great sign. On the other hand, I had been leaving, so he could get to sleep. I figured he might be sleeping.

 

I forgot to mention in the previous post that he had texted that if we didn't meet then, he wouldn't be available to for five more days due to work.

 

When I didn't hear from him during the week, I thought that might be it. And I only saw him online once this week although he might have been online at other times when I wasn't. While he was online, I didn't try to text him. But you can see who has looked at your profile.

 

So this afternoon since it had definitely been over 5 days, and 8 days past our meeting, I texted for a second time.

 

Gman: "Tom-this is Gman. We met last week. Hello. If now isn't a good time, I could text later."

 

Tom: "I've got visitors from out of town"

 

Gman: "I understand about visitors.

 

I had a really good time with you last week.

I was texting to ask you to go for coffee or a drink.

 

Obviously I didn't know you had company. Once they leave, I'd like to see you again if you are interested. If not, let me know because I don't want to bug you. Thanks again for last week. Gman"

 

All I received in reply to this was bupkis. :(

 

 

***********************************************

Ok so this last text isn't great. But considering he hasn't been 'chatty'-and from what little I can tell from his videos, he seems to be a personable fellow-I'd prefer him to tell me if that one evening was all he wanted. I know a lot of people would rather just not communicate. And I guess it serves the same purpose. But even if something hurts, I'd rather be told (pardon the expression) straight out.

 

 

And of course if by some weird chance, he reads the Forum-I'm totally screwed. :confused: But I most likely am anyway even if he's not a reader of Daddy's Illustrious Forum. And obviously I mean not in a good way.

 

Gman

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I've always looked at stalking to be related to the real intent of the information gathering. If it is primarily to satisfy curiosity and/or assure safety then I see nothing wrong with gathering whatever information is readily available through google and reverse number searches. The line is crossed over to stalking when the basic information is used to pursue some ways to discover more details, to use the information in a nefarious way or to continue interaction if not specifically invited to do so. As you've described things, I wouldn't say you've crossed the line to stalking.

 

Full disclosure: I've done what you have done and discovered some potentially unsettling things about an escort so I was glad that I did so. I had more information to make a decision to meet or not. I did not consider it stalking in my case either.

 

Hope he does contact you back and you have a second, third, forth...great encounter(s).

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My friends and I have discussed this quite a bit. The consensus ( in our group ) is that Facebook is completely fair game since the individual controls the privacy settings. Although I once showed a friend how, even though his Facebook was locked down tight, I could use the comments on his profile picture to look at other peoples Facebook pages. Sure enough, one of those was wide open and I found a picture of my friend and his boyfriend. I consider taking that step kind of stalkerish because the original person is trying to maintain their privacy by locking down their Facebook page.

 

Googling a name just seems like due diligence at this point if you are thinking about seeing someone again. As long as you are just trying to confirm he is not an axe murderer. I think you cross a line if you start looking at property tax records or anything along those lines. I would also never look at anyone's LinkedIn profile. I think that is pretty damn nosey.

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I appreciate all the input on my query.

 

After my last post, mirabile dictu (for the one or two Forum members on here who might be a little rusty with their Latin = "wonderful to be said" or more figurative "remarkably"), he texted me at 2:20 AM and wanted to meet. So I did. Our second meeting wasn't exactly a trip to the moon on gossamer wings.

 

But this thread isn't about our meeting. It was about seeing if there was a consensus on how much searching is reasonable. Personally I don't see much difference between looking on LinkedIn and searching Facebook. I'm not a member of LinkedIn-well I am sort of-but there's nothing really in my profile-and I never remember my password and almost never use password recovery. So I have used LinkedIn in the past. But usually only when LinkedIn comes up on a general Google search. I don't log into LinkedIn itself specifically to look up people.

 

In my opinion, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Reverse Phone Number/Address sites are probably ok depending on how you use them. I'm not planning on showing up to his work, outing him to his employer or family, etc, etc, etc. While there is obviously a curiosity factor in finding things out. It's also smart in my opinion for your own protection. If the search had revealed he was a recently released drug smuggler and con man, I wouldn't have met with-unless he were really really good-looking. :p Ok probably not even then. But finding out info, does help if you want pass the info to a friend as a safety back-up. It's nice to know in the minuscule percentage where the guy is crazy -someone has your info. (IIRC two guys in Seattle were murdered either in 2015 or 2014 by a guy they picked up at a bar. And when I first moved here there had been a rash of drinks being spiked with date rape drugs at clubs. I remember notices advising people not to leave their drinks unattended and that if club employees saw an unattended drink, they would be throwing them away.).

 

If we still had polls, it would be interesting to know how many of us try to do some searching prior/after a hook-up.

 

 

I did do something probably stupid toward the end of our meeting:mad:. I mentioned that I had found out who he was. Mea culpa (Latin again = "my fault"). I think it has freaked him out a bit. In recompense, and because I really don't mean mind if Tom knows, I gave him my name to look up if he wants.

 

As to whether he's now too freaked to want to meet for a third time or whether I even want to meet him for a third time-you'll all have to stay tuned for future episodes of As The (Gman's) Stomach Turns to see whether or not those answers are revealed.

 

Gman

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I wouldn't of done this. You texted once. That was enough. Smacks a bit of desperation.

 

I considered that. And you are right. It might have. However the first text was almost immediately after the meeting. And there was a good chance he had fallen asleep. The next text was 8 days after the first meeting. I hadn't been texting daily. And if you want to meet with someone again-someone has to make the 1st move. If each guy is waiting for the other to text, you might never meet again. If I had waited a month, he could have met someone else-or if he had waited to text me, I might have met someone else. Sometimes you have to take a chance. And sometimes it's a fine line between too soon, right time, or too late and you missed your chance for something that could have been special. It's too bad that often you can only find out these things in retrospect. Hopefully each mistake teaches us for the next time.

 

Gman

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I considered that. And you are right. It might have. However the first text was almost immediately after the meeting. And there was a good chance he had fallen asleep. The next text was 8 days after the first meeting. I hadn't been texting daily. And if you want to meet with someone again-someone has to make the 1st move. If each guy is waiting for the other to text, you might never meet again. If I had waited a month, he could have met someone else-or if he had waited to text me, I might have met someone else. Sometimes you have to take a chance. And sometimes it's a fine line between too soon, right time, or too late and you missed your chance for something that could have been special. It's too bad that often you can only find out these things in retrospect. Hopefully each mistake teaches us for the next time.

 

Gman

Agreed. Waiting a week is fine.

 

Better to take a chance and lose than not take a chance and wonder "what if...."

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Personally I don't see much difference between looking on LinkedIn and searching Facebook

 

The difference is you are going right at their professional life instead of whatever part of their personal life they choose to share on Facebook. Unless you judge someone by their profession, or are some kind of gold digger, it's really none of your business when you first meet. That is something you should allow them to share with you as they feel comfortable. ( I mean "you" in the very general sense. I know that you personally are not a gold digger, but I would wonder about the motives of anyone who viewed my LinkedIn profile. )

 

The good thing about LinkedIn though is that you must be logged in to see anything other than someone's very basic information. It also notifies the person when their profile has been viewed. So unless you create a fake profile, which would totally be stalking, you are busted.

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As I said @Gar1eth , I don't think you crossed any lines. You looked for information just in search of a safety and out of curiosity, you did not misused the info you found, you did not stalk him, he tossed the ball back to you which is where I last commented.

Now, WHY DID YOU TELL HIM??????

It felt weird me knowing and him not knowing I knew.

 

Gman

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Well, I wouldn't say being forthright is a huge mistake nor would I say that Gman was conducting an "investigation." I say his curiosity and excitement just got the best of him, and then he decided to fess up - bc he is a mensch. I think the bigger mistake here is mixing up protocols: hookup vs dating protocols.

  • Hookup protocols begin with looking for a fuckbuddy online to serve your sexual needs at any given hour of the night/day. Little info is exchanged (part of the thrill and mutual understanding). follow-up is frowned upon, but honoring an emotional distance will earn you another hookup with the same guy. The more anonymous, the hotter. No strings! hookup protocol does require some online due diligence on each other - to ensure you are not driving at 230 in the am in a rainy night towards a serial killer's home.
  • Dating protocol includes inviting someone for coffee, texting and checking in, closing emotional distance, even being honest about feelings, etc. you could even argue that, in this day and age, looking up the object of your affection online should be ok to ensure you are not dating a meshugana. Personally, I've learned to resist this temptation bc I've made huge assumptions about people without the additional context of getting to know them more deeply in person.

Now, here is the rub. I think Gman's mistake was switching protocols on Tom. Tom had already classified Gman as a fuckbuddy (notice there was a follow-up meeting) and now Gman's intent to get to know Tom, not his hole, has thrown Tom for a loop. Tom has probably looked at the evidence and decided to run - too confusing and too blurred of a line!

 

Gman - you are human, you got your wires crossed. Learn from this. You are smart, you are emotionally brave, you are funny, and from what I hear, you really are better looking than you lead us to believe. So, guess what, this is Tom's loss - he can't cope or doesn't want to deal with blurred lines.

 

PS- looking up people online can avert a huge mistake, but the majority of the time, for those of us with scruples, it just makes us feel like we are peeping toms.

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I remember when an escort had done 'due diligence' on me. Actually he hadn't done it. One of his 'people' had done it. It's been awhile back. I was a bit surprised. But I don't think I was that disturbed. I would probably have told him a lot of it anyway during our weekend meeting. If it made him feel safer, I'm glad.

 

Gman

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I totally agree we learned from our mistakes, specially we learned about ourselves. When you are in a relationship, any relationship, escort/client or love partners or just friends, I think it is important to respect each other limits. All limits. If I learn something about the other that was not shared by him/her, I paciently wait for that sharing moment to arrive. I may drop hints and manipulate the conversation to bring out the issue, but I do not let the other know that I know something that perhaps I was not supposed to know. It is just my opinion and my outlook, but discretion and mutual respect for each other boundaries are a key in all of my relationships.

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I wouldn't of done this. You texted once. That was enough. Smacks a bit of desperation.

 

Although it is somewhat off topic, I nonetheless feel moved to relate that sometimes texts go astray.

 

I take music lessons from somebody I'll call Z; a friend of mine, D also takes music lessons from Z;

A couple of weeks teacher Z comments that he hadn't seen D in quite a while; a week later D

asks "Is Z OK? I've texted him a few times with no response". Today, I had a lesson with Z

who said he finally got together with D and D texted him while sitting right next to him, and

the text never went through. Not during the lesson, nor within the next day or so.

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Although it is somewhat off topic, I nonetheless feel moved to relate that sometimes texts go astray.

 

I take music lessons from somebody I'll call Z; a friend of mine, D also takes music lessons from Z;

A couple of weeks teacher Z comments that he hadn't seen D in quite a while; a week later D

asks "Is Z OK? I've texted him a few times with no response". Today, I had a lesson with Z

who said he finally got together with D and D texted him while sitting right next to him, and

the text never went through. Not during the lesson, nor within the next day or so.

 

 

I have an acquaintance, and we've found that occasionally texts never arrive. And sometimes they have arrived hours after they've been sent.

 

Gman

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  • Hookup protocols begin with looking for a fuckbuddy online to serve your sexual needs at any given hour of the night/day. Little info is exchanged (part of the thrill and mutual understanding). follow-up is frowned upon, but honoring an emotional distance will earn you another hookup with the same guy. The more anonymous, the hotter. No strings! hookup protocol does require some online due diligence on each other - to ensure you are not driving at 230 in the am in a rainy night towards a serial killer's home.
  • Dating protocol includes inviting someone for coffee, texting and checking in, closing emotional distance, even being honest about feelings, etc. you could even argue that, in this day and age, looking up the object of your affection online should be ok to ensure you are not dating a meshugana. Personally, I've learned to resist this temptation bc I've made huge assumptions about people without the additional context of getting to know them more deeply in person.

I couldn't have said it better!! Great distinction.
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