I’m a man of simple tastes and sensibilities. I like what I like and I know which way my butter is sliced, and this is why my incoming Instagram feed mainly consists of photos of cats, tattoos, birds with their boobs hanging out and sub-groups or alternative non-mainstream cultures – skinheads, punks, satanists, Barry Manilow fans etcetera. Instagram has some fairly sophisticated algorithms in place that will make some pretty accurate recommendations for you, based on things you have previously liked. And so I make frequent use of this functionality.
As I browsed the Search tab last week, one such recommendation was of a mischievous-looking cat which I promptly clicked on to view. It took me a few seconds for my brain to register what I saw on the next page; for what confronted me was my own face looking back at me from the landing screen. This cheeky sod was using MY PROFILE PICTURE for his account! And not just any old photo of me, scraped off the net – but my current Instagram profile picture no less!
Being no stranger to internet “trolling” and as the creator of the Gary Glitter Twitter Bot (RIP), mixed emotions and confusion instantly swamped me; was this a monumental piss-take, a hoax, infatuation or the work of a highly dangerous and twisted mind? In short, should I be flattered, amused or very VERY scared?
To make things even more strange, lots of their Instagram pictures are things that I have a keen interest in or would find amusing in some way – and these photos date back a long way (i.e this account is about 3 years old!). Photo topics include GG Allin, Vlad the Impaler, homemade tattoos, cats, midgets, moustaches, and feature many a grumpy selfie accompanied with ironic misuse of hashtags (much akin to mine). His own homemade/prison style tattoos include quotes such as “Ebola is cool“, an SS symbol and a GG Allin grave stone – much like mine (which I blogged about back in 2011).
At this point I was beginning to doubt my sanity and to some extent, the core of my existence, so I tried to find out more about him by stalking back – but alas, he is a wily fox; simply going by the name of “Original Fuck Boy” and using @count_macula as a username. Further investigation over at Urban Dictionary describes Count Macula thus:
someone who gets their mac on in a creepy way
hitting on girls, and the girls think the guy is creepy
trying to be sexy/seductive but sounding extremely perverted
Possibly Cunt Macula would be more apt, it would seem?
What to do about this then? At first I thought of the reasonable approach – send him a simple message, politely saying “GIVE ME BACK MY FACE” – or something like that? Then I considered the subtle option, persistently posting “Will the real Tom Fog please stand up, please stand up” under all his future photos. In truth, however, I’m quite eager to see what he does next without alerting him to the fact that I’m watching him back…
Which is ok, of course – if what he does next is simply post humourous inappropriate photos on Instagram – but what if he takes his mad obsession further? What if he starts sending me love letters or gifts? What if he bombards me with used condoms or soiled tampons, steaming turds in jiffy bags, severed body parts or dead things? What if he turns up at my door or presents himself at the office one morning claiming to be me? (If he turns out to be a half decent developer – he’ll get found out immediately…).
This leads me to ask the question: does everyone have a doppelgänger, or a crazy stalker waiting to hunt them to their wit’s end? Perhaps the account is really run by me in a drunken schizophrenic state, late at night – completely forgotten the next morning? Then again, maybe I’m his dad. This could be my long lost son trying to reach out to me. Or perhaps merely seeking to mock me then kill me, purely out of vengeance?
What if the little bastard goes and shoots up his school, massacring his class mates and teachers? They’ll see my bloody mug plastered across his fucking social media account! He might actually blame me for his despicable crimes, citing me as some sort of Charles Manson figure, leading him astray. One look at my weird, staring mongoloid eyes and I’ll be done for. “Evil Eskimo Causes High School Shootout“, the papers will say.
Like all problems, I’ll no doubt tackle this one by ignoring it and hope it goes away (whilst still following his account closely obviously).
* Alternative considered titles considered for this blog post: Stalk Like Me, The Man Without a Face, Face-off, Stalk & Cheese *