This past summer I did something that no self-respecting, college-aged female should ever do: I looked at an old crush’s Facebook page. You’d think conventional wisdom would tell me that this was about as good of an idea as getting my name tattooed on my neck in Comic Sans font. But alas, somehow I managed to convince myself that at that very moment the best thing for my emotional stability was to lurk on the web page of the guy that had recently shattered my soul into pieces. And similar to a conspicuous neck tattoo, the result was notable damage and waking up the morning after riddled with regret.
I knew Facebook stalking was a bad idea. There’s a saying that you shouldn’t ask questions you don’t want the answer to. I think something similar can be said for social media stalking. Don’t cyber creep on someone if you’re not ready to see that this person’s life is going relatively well without you. Rejection is one of those universal pitfalls that can result in unintended feelings of animosity. On one hand, you know that the situation is incredibly insignificant and will have no actual bearing on anything that matters ever. But on the other hand, you kind of also hope that the person’s life spirals into a sudden trajectory downwards, so that they go on to lead a life of desolate loneliness, multiple cats and premature balding, which somehow all stems from that one time they failed to appreciate how amazing you are.
So there I was, shamefully being one of those obsessive, creepy girls that everyone makes fun of but no one wants to admit they become under the right circumstances. I scrolled a bit, skimmed through some cliché abroad photos and finally came upon the dreaded look-I-have-hoes-from-different-area-codes photo; the single, incriminating image that can crush a person with one swift blow.
The worst thing about suspicious photos is that you can never really tell if romanticism is actually occurring, or if you’re just being ridiculously irrational and manifesting absurdities in your mind. But despite this uncertainty and the fact that I had seen a single photo, I wasted no time allowing my imagination to become a disgusting vortex of girly-ness and spite as I proceeded to find out more about this mystery girl.
For those not well versed in the inner workings of the female mind (excuse the generalization), when girls Facebook stalk other girls to feel better about themselves, there is a specific method to analyzing and deconstructing each photo and status. The initial instinct is to hope that she’s ugly. But wait, she has a stunningly symmetrical face? Well then she’s probably stupid. Oh, she goes to Duke? Well she’s definitely lonely and a social outcast. Oh, she’s surrounded by human beings in every flawlessly Instagrammed photo? Well, umm, she has grossly misshapen calves. So there. She’s flawed. Whew. Now I feel better about myself! And that’s how it goes.
Except the last part never, ever, actually happens.
You may consider my antics ridiculous and pathetic, and they definitely were, but before you judge too harshly, just know that I can guarantee I am not the only one who does that—at least I hope I’m not, because I like to think I’m not any more crazy than anyone else. But every single girl I know has stalked their ex-crush’s girlfriend or fling and immediately hated that girl with a fiery passion. I’m sure this isn’t just a female specific problem, but I definitely notice it more with my own gender. And that makes me wonder why such hostility is always, always directed at girls, by girls. Why do women feel the need to belittle other women, particularly when a guy is involved?
It’s unnecessary, it’s silly, and there are already enough burdens of being female that we don’t need to burden each other, too. Let’s stop the girl-on-girl hate and paint rainbows and love each other. After all, at the end of the day, calling someone ugly doesn’t make you pretty. Calling someone stupid doesn’t make you smart. Demeaning someone in any way never accomplishes anything. You are still you and you’re going to have to accept that in that specific situation, there was someone better.
So here’s my obligatory ‘beginning of the year message’ to all you freshmen: You’re going to get rejected, passed up for positions and flat out told that you suck and everyone else is better. It’s up to you how you’re going to handle the disappointment. You can call people names all you want, you can criticize both the superficial and innate, you can even Facebook stalk the hell out of them until you develop early-onset carpal tunnel syndrome. But doing so will not make you feel better or make the situation any less irritating. To put it simply, s**t happens, and you just have to deal. Hostile thoughts may bring momentarily bliss, but I can promise you that nothing feels better than when you can heal on your own without having to put someone else down to do so.
Michelle Menchaca is a Trinity sophomore. Her column runs every other Thursday.