Using communication technology and the internet, such as AOL, instant messenger, profiles, or google searches, in an impulsive manner, with the inappropriate intention to anonymously and persistently pursue their prey (a fellow online user of such technology).

related words:
"e-stalk": noun
The stealthy tactics employed by one who engages in "e-stalking".
Also known as an "e-stalker": one who uses technology for means of "e-stalking".
"e-stalked": to be the object of an e-stalker, usually unbeknownst to e-stalking tactics.

The term can be used loosely to describe below-the-radar pursuits of an object of affection to extreme obsession and derangement, involving disorderly conduct. Some examples of such misguided deeds include compulsive “relationship status” profile checks; using away messages as a means to follow or “bump into” a desired person; “googling” an ex flame or crush to investigate their whereabouts or life developments. Such behaviors can spiral towards detrimental, especially during times of loneliness, bad break ups or long periods of reminiscing.

E-stalking stems from the Old English word stealcian, to move stealthily. Most certainly, the object or victim of the e-stalker is often unaware of the anonymous and compulsive activities surrounding their deified online persona. Or, e-stalking can be encouraged by wistful away messages, flirtatious but indirect instant messaging, or the ever popular “poke” on facebook. Under the guise of the internet the e-stalker can freely follow and observe the events and relations of their beloved. In rare cases e-stalking leaves the safe and secret world of the internet and spills into the real world. Such behaviors ranges from the innocent: such as checking where a crush is planning to partake in nightly activities, to the creepy: when the e-stalker makes contact with amorous intentions with a shadow of their past, who more often than not, doesn’t share, or even remember, the connection that may have been.

The e-stalker has many faces. Not just monsters in the closet, it can also be the unassuming sorority girl who is a little too attached to her ex-boyfriend. It also can be the smart, attractive, yet painfully shy guy who finds himself undeserving to engage with their e-stalked darling. His beloveds interests, activities, and preferences are painstakingly memorized, and used to create a romantic map of conquest, used to lure their prize with carefully planned thoughtfulness and attention to every detail. E-stalking is often supported by friend groups, who will go to the extent of “friending” the ex-loves of a comrade, so that the e-stalker’s path of silent, deliberately, persistent and stealth tactics cannot be directly tracked.

Closely related to e-stalking is e-crushing, believing a relationship has potential merit due to a perceived connection felt be the e-crusher due to profile similarities, overly flattering face book pictures, and information memorization in lieu of getting to know the person, not just their generated text.

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