These days there is a great deal of unease about the business of stalking. The term crops up in newspapers, legal cases, and the social media. Many accusations are made and in some cases substantiated. The BGA has a few points of good advice for those who would avoid the problem:
a. Do not poop in the wild. Or on the screen.
This is the number one give-away for wild animals – at least for the ones who do not instinctively bury their shit. They leave steaming mounds everywhere and eventually the predator who wants to find them just ends up following a trail of increasingly fresh dung until it finds the arsehole that is putting it out. Not a pleasant way of shopping, but a sure-fire way of finding one end of dinner.
In the social media world it works the same way. People post the most improbable piles of merde on the internet – for the most part picked up and ” shared ” in an effort to get attention. Well, if they share enough of it and it gets to be fresh, it can lead directly to them.
b. Do not leave your leavings around.
We are not suggesting that you shred every piece of wrapping paper or McDonalds container that you collect to prevent hackers from trolling your recycle bin…but remember what happened to the US Embassy in Tehran in the 1980’s. Look at the stuff you throw out and securely destroy the bits with the numbers.
Or fish the number bits out of your neighbour’s verge on bin night and put them in your own waste. Hell, just exchange paper all up and down the street and hack each other.
c. Do not pay by credit card, cheque, or direct debit.
If possible do not even pay in cash. Promise to pay and then skip town. There are towns all over the place. Skipping is healthful exercise.
d. Do not take surveys, answer questionnaires, enter contests, play free games, or request free samples.
You might as well be drawing a red circle around yourself on an ordnance survey map. The people who harvest information trade and sell it, and you, based upon what you give them. You may well end up being used but you do not have to run up the gangplank of the slave ship to embrace it.
e. Do not react to anything.
Reaction is what people want when they wish to know where you are and what triggers you. Depend upon it; when you give them the information they will use it and they will not use it in a way that makes you happier.
f. Be beige. Bland, Swiss, middle-aged, from an outer suburb, and never seen. Try to become a fully visible invisible creature.
g. Avoid all interpersonal relationships – in particular avoid the ones that involve loose clothing and lapses of memory. When that old sweet song echoes in your ear, put your finger inside there instead.
Love is another thing. Love is perennial and blessed. Love is violets and daffodils. Love is the stuff of which very successful pulp novels can be made. If it occasionally becomes a soggy mess and soaks through into the upholstery, regard this as the price you pay for happiness. Or misery. In any case, if you do pay the price, get a receipt – you can sometimes claim it on your tax return.