I’m old enough to remember the Internet back in the AOL dial-up days. As I’ve mentioned, back in the day I had occasion to enter the often creepy, sometimes fun, halls of the Chat-rooms. Back then, we were less aware of how exposed one could be when engaging with strangers. For the most part it was just a place where some lonely (sometimes shy, sometime socially awkward) folks could “meet” and have someone to talk to.
Over time the Internet has become a tad more dangerous. Sharing information with people, the potential for hacking and just the discomfort of being followed from virtual place to place by a hostile troll who has decided to make you the target. Now my personal experiences have been mostly positive, although not without a few creepy moments. In one of the non-creepy moments I met a young woman who would later become my wife…so it’s not all bad.
I did notice certain things about chat-rooms, forums and on-line dating arenas. Some participants became possessive of other members. Beneath the surface of the friendly words were signs and signals of instability. Some it was just the outright lying one could detect and some of it was just the word-choice, the way they tried to apply control to a certain person. Was that just my imagination? Possibly at times, but probably not many times. Words aren’t just my specialty because I’m an author. Word choices, tone, tempo were a part of my lengthy investigative training. I began my career as a professional criminal interviewer. I studied linguistic selection and markers and I studied a system called scientific content analysis. Both are just methods for finding indications of deception and patterns in speech and written words. I won’t go far as to say I am a human lie detector, but my children and people close to me would argue that is in fact true.
So it was the application of these skills with my education in psychology that gave me concern over some of the words, some of the statements and some of the “relationships” that I was seeing. But at the end of the day I’m a horror writer, so my outlet for these things is always the page. My poetry skills are pretty poor – I still believe it has to rhyme to be a poem. But with A to Z around the corner and a need to rest my blog brain for the big challenge I figured readers would take little offense to my self-indulgent posting of a poem inspired by the stalking-like behavior I once saw. And if you have someone on-line that you are stalking, feel free to send this to them as a greeting card…you sick F*#%
Your slender neck is so tempting in that blue-silver light
I stand here behind you, although I know it isn’t right
You there clicking at your keyboard and staring at your screen
As I wait in these shadows, my obsession still unseen
In those words you’ve often writ, in careless electric text
Oh they cast a spell upon me, my heart they truly vex
But worry not my lover over this knife at my side
Struggle not my lover, for I only wish to confide
Those other veiled on-line suitors, who compliment so fast
I’ve only brought this binding rope to ensure I am your last