Facebook may be good for making our friends and their grandmas as wildly uncomfortable as possible, but once you’ve poked everyone’s nans and tagged yourself in all available newborn baby photos, where can you go from there?
To Twitter, of course, where there’s a whole new set of people over there to freak out with your weirdo internet ways. And there's no need for nasty, aggressive trolling when you can just be perversely playful.
Plus, some of them may be important work contacts, and who better to mess with than them? So say goodbye to your career and let’s get our creep on.
Fave a three-year-old tweet
This is Creepy Twitter Behaviour 101. There’s no better way to imply you’ve spent several hours scrolling back through someone’s timeline than to fave that tweet they posted in 2012 about a pretty good sausage roll they had that day.
Unfortunately, Twitter’s web interface only goes back three months but the great news for Twitter creeps is that Google exists. Tap in your target’s username, and any random keyword (for example: sausages) and Google will drop relevant tweets at your feet no matter how long ago they were posted.
Regardless of how you get to a long-forgotten tweet, your mark will get a notification that you faved it and their first instinct will be, “Er, are they in love with me?” and their second will be to never mention it to you ever. Mission accomplished.
Add people to cryptic Twitter lists
Twitter lists are the unsung heroes of creeping people out on the internet. My favourite option is to set up a YES list and a NO list then randomly assign people to each one with no explanation. Your friends will spend hours debating what you’re saying YES and NO to: YES I would bang these people? NO I do not like these people? YES these people probably would lend me a fiver? NO I will not leave these people behind when the rapture comes? It could be something or it could be nothing. And therein lies the creepy beauty of it all.
Instantly reply to everything someone says as though you’ve been hovering over their account waiting for them to tweet
The fact that Twitter still offers SMS notifications just confirms that it really is a stalker’s dream. You literally get a text message every time your target sends out a tweet. A TEXT MESSAGE. Unsettle everyone involved by instantly replying to everything they say, no matter what time of the day or night.
Imply you have been discussing someone’s whereabouts with parties unknown
DM your pal being all “hey what’s up, what you up to?” and then “accidentally” tweet their response in a fake failed-DM. No one else will notice, but to your DMing friend it’ll look like you were mid-conversation with someone else about their whereabouts. Who are you talking to? And why? And what are you plotting? What was that noise? Is someone in my house right now? Are just some of the questions you will never answer.
Get cosy with the Discover tab
On the Twitter web interface, the Discover tab is one of the internet’s greatest stalking tools. You better believe I’m in the Activity section working out who you’re chirpsing with those tactical faves. You don’t need to do anything with this information except perhaps casually drop it into conversation. The fact that you’re monitoring it at all is creepy enough as it is.
Get Harry Styles to follow you
It can’t be that hard to get Harry Styles to follow you and, since you’ve never shown an interest in the boy prince of pop before, wouldn’t just seeing you try it creep your friends out? Tweet Harry asking him to follow you. Then try again tomorrow. Try posting three or four tweets the following day. Start numbering your Harry Styles tweets. Write a script to auto-tweet a Harry Styles follow-request every thirteen minutes. Intersperse these auto-tweets with real tweets to avoid being marked as spam.
Quit your job. Let personal hygiene fall by the wayside. Miss friends’ birthdays, weddings, funerals. Finally get that new follower notification. Weep. Change your username to “THANK YOU HARRY”. Weakly tap out a welcome to your thousands of new followers using the very last of your phone’s power. Let the phone drop from your hand to the damp mattress of cardboard you now call home. Die cold, destitute, friendless but satisfied, having pulled off the greatest Twitter creep-out of all time.