To my Online Stalker,
Many bloggers get a bit of unwanted attention every now and again. They get someone watching far too many of their Instagram Stories, they get people liking every single tweet they send out or they get well meaning strangers stopping them in the street.
But, for me, your attention isn’t like that. Your attention is constant in it’s inconsistency. Every few months you will pop up and my website traffic will go through the roof, doubling the page views of every day before it.
You like to visit my website in the early hours of the morning and you will scroll through page after page of blog posts dating back to when this blog first began. You read about my children, you see them grow through the pages of this blog and you even read the posts in between – the reviews, the competitions and the sponsored posts.
Once you sat on my blog from 2:30pm until 10pm, three stints in total but only closing the page for a few minutes in between. In those 7.5 hours you scrolled through every single page of my blog and yet, nearly two years later, there you are again reading page after page after page.
You used to email me and text me with replies to the posts. You left a comment once too – telling me what a beautiful family I have. But, as much as your attention isn’t nasty, as much as it isn’t threatening, it really isn’t wanted. It’s harassing – and you know that. But that is why you keep doing it – although I don’t think you realise how much I can see from this side of the computer – how much I know.
I know you can’t let go. I know you have this urge to keep tabs on me, to read my blog and to feel like you know me, like you know my children, like you’ve always known us. But, losing yourself amongst the six thousand posts on this blog isn’t going achieve anything – it isn’t going to give you a life you so clearly crave. It’s just going to drive you insane, like watching a life unfold behind a door that is permanently closed to you.
You sat on my blog for hours yesterday. You came to it direct – not needing a search engine or a link in a social post and you viewed it on your mobile phone. I imagine you laying in bed from 5am, trawling through my website and reading every post from June to September 2014 – 250 posts. I imagine you seeing little three year old LP and her start of nursery, Little Man taking his first steps and all our days out and ordinary moments in between.
I imagine you looking at all of that – and I feel sick. The one thing I have never been able to stop you doing is watching my life online. After all, I found myself in this career, a job I love so much and a career that I never dreamed possible. And since then my life has been my job – and my job has been my life – and because of that my life is online, it’s in the public domain for all to see.
Yet, knowing you are there, popping up every few months, pouring over the pages of my blog makes me feel ill. You know how it would make me feel. You make me feel vulnerable, exposed. There was a time, when you first started stalking me online, that I felt like shutting the whole thing down. I closed my laptop and had to walk away. I didn’t want my space online tainted by you, I didn’t want you anywhere near it.
But now, years later, when you have seen the children grow, when you have seen our family’s happy times – our holidays and adventures, when you know it’s my job and when you know how far I have truly come, I know that this isn’t my problem.
There are people in life who have nothing better to do than spend their time watching other people’s lives unfold. They are almost in stasis, not living their life fully as they are so wrapped up in the lives of other people – and the what ifs and maybes that their own life has left them with.
It’s hard to believe that you now spend so much time online – something you used to hate so much. And it’s sad to know that you have all those hours free to spend following me around the internet. Surely, by now, you should have something more in your life – as you are really not a part of ours.
So, my final word to you, my online stalker – and the final thing I will ever say to you, is that I will not live my life with you in the shadows. I know you are reading my blog – every time you open up my website I know you are there. But, you don’t scare me. This issue is yours – and I will not let it impact my life. Our days are very much done and the sooner you realise that, step away from the computer, and get on with your life, the better.
I hope, after everything, you can sleep at night.