The lurker has become one of the most recognizable and hated characters in instant messaging groups around the world.
It’s what they don’t say that speaks volumes. Observing entire conversations in absolute silence, they are the outsider looking in, the spy within. The only evidence of their sleuthing is a faint tick on your screen once they’ve read your message. Like the distant flash of a camera on a dark night, it’s creepy and unsettling. And that’s exactly how they want you to feel. How do I know that? Well, friends, that’s because I am a lurker. Don’t @ me.
Lurkers tend to be the same people who think a fun Friday night is staying in and stalking friends of friends on Facebook until 2am. They have a hit list of potential stalking leads on Twitter. They have at least three proxy accounts on Tumblr to make sure their getting all the good tea. Imagine Varys from Game of Thrones with an iPhone instead of carrier pigeons and you’re typical modern-day lurker.
Why do we do it? The lurking world may be dark but there are untold pleasures to found.
1) Someone has been foolish enough to invite you into another group chat. You lick your lips with anticipation. Come to me sweet sweet tea.
2) When there's at least 5 other people in this group, making the lurking less obvious...the perfect trap.
3) The conversation starts and you start to make yourself comfortable. You’ve probably stock piled enough supplies to last you two weeks in case it gets really juicy.
4) At first, there is a lot of drivel. When will they get to the good sh*t already?
5) Tfw someone shows their true colours and starts calling their BFF “a skanky ass hoe”. This is what you came for.
6) In your excitement you accidentally press the like button. You're fucked.
7) You give yourself a stern talking to.
8) They’ve completely forgotten about you again and now they're saying you eat too many pop tarts. Since when was 12 pop tarts for breakfast "too many"? FML.
9) Now you’re really pissed off. Like, seriously, when did being hungry become a crime?
10) You consider sliding into the conversation, but you know it’s too early to bail. There is more tea to come.
11) Ah yes, now they're talking about Becky with the good hair and bad breath. This is what we've been waiting for.
12) It's been a long night but it's all been worth it.
13) When we justify the lurking to other people...
...even though we know it's complete BS.
14) Mission complete.