About ten year ago maybe a little less, there was an independent film that came out called Following. It was a very quirky British film that centered around an odd duck who by chance one day followed someone, the whole day and watched what they did. For some reason this became a fascination with him and ultimately led him into a whole passal of trouble and he found the tables turned in a very uncomfortable way. I thought it was an interesting film and moreso an interesting concept because it makes one ponder, why would one person want to follow another?

I don’t know if any of you have been followed but I have and it’s a rather surreal experience. Because at first it may seem a bit flattering, you know? Like “Wow, I must be interesting, woo hoo.” But then ego gives way to reality and you really do start to wonder why it is a certain person just keeps turning up wherever you are. How they just manage to be anyplace you are, get involved in activities you are involved in and so forth.

I guess I’m not a total bore, but I certainly wouldn’t call myself fascinating. I just go about my business, have some fun, talk, chat, read, write, have a few laughs. You know, pretty much like anyone else – so what is there to see? I suppose it does have something to do with attraction or maybe it is just flat out curiosity. Is it possible that an average person like myself could be so alien to another that they would feel the need to study me, watch me, see what I do and say? Since it has happened I guess the cursory answer at least would have to be yes.

On the other hand maybe it has little or nothing to do with me, the watchee (if you will) and more to do with the watcher. I ponder sometimes what goes on in a mind like that – that they would follow someone else and just watch them. What would be the point, what need or desire would it fulfill? Is it that they are simply so unengaged in life that they have become a permanent spectator, too afraid to actually make direct contact and outwardly learn about someone, get to know them? Are they just taking notes because they are trying to develop a character study for a story? Is it only the unattainable that interests them? I’ve come to no real conclusions just more curiosity about the whole thing.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? What do you think the motivation is? Why do you think that? I’m seriously interested in your thoughts about this.

12 thoughts on “Following

  1. Hi Annie,

    Oh wow! Another one of those real thought proking posts for me. I love what you write about Annie, how on eath can you follow your self, hehe!! You have so much to follow. Its that pesky IQ again isn’t. I love that IQ.

    I have so many takes on this, but I don’t know where to begin. I’m going to let this discussion progress before I make some comments. You see I have a bit to say about addiction and recovery (cults) for what of a better word.The word following for me may be a bit different to most in this area.

    I sometimes feel followed on my computer you know. I do. I don’t know entirely by whom but I feel followed somedays.I quess we are followed on our comuters arn’t we. We all follow words. I do. I follow words that touch me.

    I’ll be back
    Love following you hehe!!

    Hi Di,
    Well that’s sort of funny, following my IQ? Somehow I doubt it, Di. I know what you mean though about feeling followed on your computer – it’s a sense of something…hard to put your finger on though, isn’t it?



  2. Interesting thought. I’ve never “felt” that experience of known of anyone following me. I guess I must be boring.

    Hey Jim,
    Well maybe you consider yourself lucky then if you’ve never had the experience. It’s not really pleasant.


  3. Every now and then, maybe when I’m at the mall or at an airport, I might briefly talk to someone (like a cashier), bump into someone accidentally and apologize, or maybe stare at a woman who’s complaining loudly to management.

    Sometimes I’ll walk away wondering what their life is like. Do they have someone they love at home? Will they regret purchasing that lime green bag later? Do they take heavy medication for depression? What kind of car do they drive? Did their father hug them enough? Did someone close to them die recently? Are they really rich and just hiding it?

    So I could see how following someone might fulfill some curiosity.

    Hey MJ!
    Oh I have those sort of thoughts too. Especially if the person does something to get my attention, but I think that might just be a writer’s curiosity. This isn’t that – it’s different maybe because the intent feels different? Not sure.


  4. Let’s see. The moment you described that movie, I was like “Wow, so I’ve got some idea how to spend my day tomorrow!”

    It’s somehow inherently fascinating. Yet there is a certain element of boredom entwined with that.

    The former, perhaps because I love observing people and their individualities and their idiosyncrasies and so on. The latter perhaps now I understand things much deeply and have observed quite a lot.

    There are more similarities in all of us than differences. But differences spice up life, so it’s intriguing nonetheless.

    Well never let it be said that I don’t inspire fun new hobbies for people, eh? 😯


  5. I don’t think the average person is ever followed.

    It would have to be someone with other than average looks.

    For instance a man or woman who is above average “attractive”. One who is lacking in that area may wonder what it would be like to be so good looking. What does thier life look like?

    On the other hand… if a man or woman was (forgive this) just butt ugly or obese or otherwise “eye catching” someone may feel the desire to follow that person to see how difficult life can truely be.

    I think anyone who decides to follow a person for whatever reason has way too much time on their hands… or they have way too much money to burn.

    Just my thoughts. πŸ˜‰

    Hmm…interesting, I don’t think it really has anything to do with physical attractiveness, although it might be an element in the initial notice of the person. I think it’s something else, something more visceral or weird. But you’re right, they definitely have too much time on their hands. Thanks for your thoughts.


  6. So, Annie, does the fact that I visit your blog almost every day make me a stalker? πŸ˜‰

    – JOS

    Cute, JOS – but no. And if you’re here every day why don’t you say, boo, or something? πŸ˜‰


  7. I’ve had my share of psychos. I had a strange stalker once that stalked me that I didn’t even sleep with. That’s messed up.

    Wow, that really is messed up, dude. πŸ˜‰


  8. I’ve never been followed, as far as I know. But it would freak me out if I noticed it. While it’s an interesting premise for a movie, in real life my assumption would be that someone who followed someone else was probably up to no good.

    Yeah, you’re probably right 30. I suppose there could be the exception to that but chances are something isn’t on the up and up, eh?


  9. I know lots about following- I’m not allowed to do it to two different people on penalty of imprisonment.

    In all seriousness, I think that followers are just people who are too boring or clingy to lead lives of their own, so must resort to stalking. They’d be the same kinds of people that cling to celebrities.

    DT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where have you been my boy? Missed you. Your analysis is right on, as always, you smart boy, you. πŸ™‚


  10. Where do I begin? I have never been followed that I know of. I have never followed anyone but I have been sorely tempted. I wouldn’t because I don’t want to invade someone’s space or privacy but sometimes I get so curious about people. I’ll see someone, anyone and just wonder how they live, what they say, what they think, where are they going, what will they have for supper? I’ll look in someone’s shopping cart and wonder why they are buying what’s in the cart. What do they need it for? I’ve talked about spying on my blog. I watch everything that happens on my street which isn’t a lot though when something does happen it’s been intense many times.

    It’s not that I would stalk anyone, I just get so curious about people. Is it being nosy or just curious? I don’t know. I never interfere in anyone’s life including my own family but I always want to know what’s going on.

    I wouldn’t care to follow celebrities just everyday people to see how they live their lives. It isn’t because I don’t have a life because I do, a very full life but I get so curious about people in general.

    I’ll see a couple arguing and I’ll wonder what will happen when they get home. Will the argument escalate? Will they make peace? I don’t follow them so I will never know and that not knowing I find to be annoying sometimes.

    My goodness, I hope I don’t sound like some freakin’ stalker but you asked and I always say whatever I think.

    Wow Joanie,
    Your response to this surprised me. I can see what you mean and how it would be easy to become curious about someone. I think it’s different though, watching your neighborhood than following someone though. What I find more fascinating is what would inspire someone to do it. What are they thinking? You know?



  11. no, never really thought of following someone,
    of course I’ve always had the fantasy of some
    indepedent actor, playwright or artist becoming
    obsessed with me, and I turn out to be an
    awesome muse, informing everything his/her work,
    which is golden of course, the sex is erotic
    and fetish-y, not to mention I get great
    fashion gifts, ahhh, one can dream,
    um, what was the question again annie?

    LOL Jade, I just love your train(s) of thought – they travel all over the place. You’re so funny. Ah…er…I don’t remember what the question was. πŸ˜†


  12. I’m by nature a curious person, a people watcher, but I have never “followed” someone. I’ve been “pursued” by a couple of people, who would go out of their way to get as close to me as they could (which is really creepy…). I believe some people lack the proper social skills on how to interact with people, so they hope to be noticed, or maybe they watch out of curiousity hoping to fulfill what they might lack socially. Maybe watching people completes some fantasy that they are actually interacting with the person they are watching. Whatever it is, it can feel creepy/threatening.

    Did that make any sense at all? Maybe I’m just tired…

    Hey Mrs. V,
    So you know that creepy crawly feeling. It’s weird, isn’t it? How did you get them to stop? Just curious.


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