When Love is Actually Harassment

Sometimes, you don’t know, but what you’ve done is actually akin to a crime, and it’s not your fault really because the internet blurred boundaries first when, as a teenager, you could have cybersex with a stranger in any number of chat rooms, and it was never just you but you and Heather or Becky and Kim, and that pre-cursored LOL and was even before grooming came to light with any sort of consequence, before our parents got to grips with the true potential of the net and the inevitable danger of it, and after this there were hours spent on MySpace profiles trying to map people’s bodies based on sets of pictures they’d selected for upload that didn’t altogether create a true picture, but generally a quite attractive one, and you’d swap details, emails, end up on Messenger until two in the morning making innuendos about working out together with no real intention of meeting, and Facebook’s just as fake, in that every post’s a choice on behalf of its owner, so now you’re adding mutual friends and ones you’ve never met, because you’re sure that in the sets of friends of your 300, the 351 on your profile, your person must be out there, that the internet’s increased your chances of meeting that person, and it’s also filled you with all sorts of paranoia, and you’re less sure what etiquette is than you were in those first encounters in Tara’s bedroom, and then in Tim’s, and every gesture, message, poke, post, ill-advised add, is a step in the wrong direction, unless you always intended to border on stalker-like, over familiar, a step away from a police call, one warning towards the official meaning of the word harassment because all it takes is three.

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