trying to see without being seen,
to know without being known.
Through a screen, personal information is cheap, and unseen seeing is the default.
It doesn’t matter what strangers tell each other about themselves. Neither of you shows evidence of who the other has been. You trade impressions, and for both of you something will stick.
social media platforms and search engines both mimic the structure of an obsession and provide new compulsions for it: googling names, scrolling profiles and message boards, messaging friends who might be willing to review the evidence and deliver a temporary verdict.
It also realizes the fear of being found out: the LO knows you’ve watched their stories; all it takes is one slip of the finger to indicate you’ve been scrolling too deep.