How To Be A Creep On The Internet

Reddit is known as “the front page of the Internet.” It’s where millions of people go to discuss everything. Think of it as a web of endless message boards, each with their own community.

Recently, a user posted in the Reddit board “Ask Reddit” for help about a girl. Here is the original post (which the commentor later deleted):

I’m writing this from a recently-created throwaway account [meaning unconnected from his Reddit profile].

I’m trying OKCupid. Interesting experience so far. But so, I saw someone on there who I thought seemed wonderful, and who also mentioned that she’s a Redditor. Her inbox was full so I couldn’t message her, but I saved her to my favorites in hope that it might clear up. Then I signed on after a couple days, and saw that she’d messaged me … but then deleted her account! Damnit. Anyway, I’d love the chance for her to see this.

This is NYC we’re talkin’ about.

If it’s you and you are reading this, the message said that you understood a book reference in my profile (from Infinite Jest) and asked if I had read Broom of the System. PM me?

Thanks everyone!

At first it sounded sweet. Guy likes girl, guy tries to get girl, guy maybe does get girl, but then girl leaves. Guy does not get girl.

The story should end there. This isn’t a romantic comedy. You are not Ryan Gosling. This is not your cue to live out a rom-com fantasy that you’ve been holding inside. She deleted her OKCupid account for a reason. It may have had nothing to do with you. It may have had everything to do with you. But she did it. She’s gone. That was a choice that she made. There is not going to be some madcap explanation behind it, because, again, this is not a movie. This girl is not going to internet stalk you in hopes of finding you again with the same intensity and desire as you’re trying to find her. She’s not going to miraculously run into you outside of a grocery store in the rain. There’s not going to be a lifelong romance after that moment.

This isn’t a romantic comedy.

You do not get to stalk people even though it’s “just the Internet.” She deleted her account. She did not merely blow you off or reject you, she deleted her account. You have no idea why or what could have happened, and she didn’t delete it so that you could go on a quest to find out.

She does not owe you an explanation for deleting her account. She does not owe you anything. I am reminded of a quote from “500 Days of Summer”: “Just because she likes the same bizzaro crap you do doesn’t mean she’s your soul mate.”

You should have left her alone. Instead you decided to call her out and embarrass her on an online community that gets millions of visits per day. Yes, there is a very small chance that her account was accidentally deleted, though that’s very unlikely. There is that chance and thus there is a chance that she is really hoping you’ll find her. This chance isn’t worth freaking out some random girl.

If she wanted you to message her, she would have let you know she was going to delete her account. She would have given you her email or phone number or some other way of contacting her. You have none of those things, and that’s also for a reason.

Don’t say that it’s our fault. Don’t say that men see women swooning for the Lloyd Doblers and Ryan Goslings of the world and think that the grander the gesture, the greater we’ll fall. Those are movies. We are, believe it or not, smart enough to tell reality from stories.

Don’t make this about you. I’m sorry that she seemed really great and that you liked the same book, but she’s gone. Let her go. Don’t be creepy.

If however, I am wrong, and she does get back to you, and it works out, I’ll be very happy for you both. I’m not against romance. I’m against using romance aggressively.