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My Stalker Memory

October 26, 2011

I’m fairly certain that the Internet was developed by introverts, because it is seriously the best thing to happen to us since people started moving from caves and tents into houses with separate rooms. If someone had decided in the 90s that they needed to launch a marketing campaign to advertise the Internet, all they’d have to say was “Where introverts go to socialize.” Or maybe, in a longer format, “Where introverts can go to socialize without leaving exhausted and drained.” We would have showed up in droves at the promise of letting our introvert flag fly high, without ever having to actually be around people.

It’s not that we don’t like people—we just find it exhausting to spend a lot of time with them. We need alone time to recharge.

All of this online socializing has other effects too. It can kind of makes us look like stalkers. Okay, fine, I’ll stop using “us” and just tell the truth. It makes ME look like a stalker.

You know what’s awkward? Looking at someone’s Facebook profile and then remembering it later in conversation.

Scene: I’m at a social gathering and I’m trying to make small talk.

So! I went to Hawaii a couple years ago!”

Uh, yeah, so did I.”

I know! I saw the photos on Facebook.”

::They slowly nod their head and then suddenly leave, making a mumbled excuse about needing more drink.::

Or how about when you remember something someone posted on Twitter months ago?

Do you still use a PC? You mentioned that you liked them better.”

When did I mention that?”

Oh, um…on Twitter I think. Maybe. I think.” [LIE. You know exactly where you know it from.]

This is not just a phenomenon that effects introverts, and certainly not just online. Whenever my friends tell me something about a friend of theirs, I remember it and catalog it away under “Things I Don’t Need to Know About People I Don’t Know.” Then I meet them later and try to act surprised when they tell me about themselves.

Oh, you have two kids and a beagle? That is entirely new information!”

I’m so sorry to hear about your divorce for the first time evening, because I had no idea whatsoever, and I definitely had not heard about it from our mutual friend!”

You get the picture. Having a stalker memory makes me sound like a crazy person. Please tell me I’m not the only one.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. amaris permalink
    October 26, 2011 12:48 pm

    You’re not the only one. I recently met (a blogger) at (a Christian leadership conference) and I was practically finishing her sentences. Gross.

    • dtdorrin permalink*
      October 26, 2011 3:54 pm

      That sounds like something I would do! Either that or be too shy to say anything at all, but mentally finish all their sentences…

  2. Elizabeth permalink
    October 26, 2011 1:25 pm

    You definitely are not the only one. I remember so many things I don’t need to remember. I just had a conversation the other day with a friend where she told me something and I replied with, “Yeah, I know. You told me two years ago. Remember? It was in the dorm? I was wearing my snowflake pajama pants and eating cereal and you had just come in from tutoring in the library? And then you told me. You don’t remember that??” She is a close friend, but with not-so-close friends I just pretend I don’t already know/remember that information.

    • Elizabeth permalink
      October 26, 2011 2:13 pm

      five years ago, not two. I can remember entire conversations, but not how old I am.

    • dtdorrin permalink*
      October 26, 2011 3:56 pm

      Good to know I’m not the only one with a freakish memory. If only my memory was that good for important things. I think pretending you don’t remember is the right move when talking with people you don’t know well.

  3. October 26, 2011 2:44 pm

    This definitely happens to me. But I feel like it’s such a dumb taboo! If you put it on the internet, you should expect the people who are friends/ followers to see it! Isn’t that why you put it there in the first place?

    • dtdorrin permalink*
      October 26, 2011 3:57 pm

      Totally agree! I guess people don’t realize what they’re doing when they put everything on the internet, until someone in real life brings it up. So dumb!

  4. October 27, 2011 9:27 pm

    you are so right. now I try not to read things on people’s profiles so I won’t already know their favorite movies (before they tell me…)

  5. E-Marie permalink
    October 27, 2011 10:15 pm

    I’m pretty sure you know you’re not alone at this point in the commenting, but I’ll just continue to reaffirm this for you. Even with information I don’t gather on the internet, although FB certainly helps with that. I used to manage the database our campus ministry (containing several hundred students) used for coordinating weekly emails, intramural sports, etc. If you were a Bible study leader, not only did your name, address, year in college, and other personal info show up on your record, but also your picture. So I was constantly meeting people in the ministry I already “knew” from the database. I became a master at acting like I really didn’t know their first and last name, dorm, and hometown every time I met a Bible study leader for the first time in the flesh.

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