Personal Space Invaders

Our world is changing fast, especially from a technological standpoint. The ability to communicate with anyone around the world has become as easy as turning on the faucet. Cell phones, email, skype and social networking sites all provide access and make the world essentially a smaller place.

So is this a good thing? We say yes for the most part, because with a larger market there are more opportunities. However, this also comes with new forms of abuse.

Privacy has taken a nose dive. It’s easy to find anyone on the planet. And if you ever had dreams of getting off the grid, you were born a century too late.

But people have been ignoring personal boundaries for a long time. These are people who either aren’t aware of personal space or ignore it to serve their own purposes. We call these people,


They come in many forms. Some are completely harmless and others are actually quite dangerous.

Let’s take a look at these people in all their mutations.

Close Talkers: Maybe coined by the great Seinfeld episode….These are the people who cozy up to you during a conversation and spray you with saliva bombs and other debris. They are usually completely harmless and are actually quite chummy. But if you know you’re going to encounter one, plan accordingly. Bring an extra change of clothes and a face mask.

Touchers: These are people who touch to accentuate their point. It’s a way to bond. Now in some cases this is sweet and nice, but often it can get to be too much. How do you know when it’s too much? By the bruises on your arms or back the next day. But honestly they do mean well in general, unless they are really a Groper in disguise. You’ll know this when they apologize for accidentally missing your shoulder.

Big Huggers: They are in the Touchers family, but they actually have an agenda beyond bonding. Generally the rule of hugging is similar to the rule of hand shaking. It should be somewhat equal. We hate it when some GUY tries to show how manly he is by squeezing the crap out of our hand. C’mon MAN! Firm is one thing, but this is not a contest. These Big Huggers often get a thrill out of feeling another body close to them, so they squeeze and squeeze. Once again they are generally harmless, but best avoided. And they are everywhere!

Phone Solicitors: These people drove the wagons west and carved the way for the rest of the technological abusers. They call us any time of day and night with no respect for privacy or family time. Now sure, it’s their job, but at some point they might need to ask themselves, “Is it really OK to call on a Sunday night at 9pm?” There is such a thing as Karma….we think?
The general populace has been able to combat them with a variety of measures including the answering machine and caller ID. But it’s still maddening that they even make the attempt. And when you ask them to put you on the DO NOT CALL list, they are polite and sweet, but then their colleague calls you the next day feigning innocence. MORAL: Don’t answer your phone.

Spammers: We’ve been inundated with Spammers lately. We’re not sure what they are actually gaining from their actions, since we delete them as fast as they post. But they are so annoying, like persistent flies or mosquitoes, feeding off our blood.
If anyone has any advice on what Captcha to use, etc. please let us know.
Otherwise we wish we could set up a new sort of Octagon, where the Phone Solicitors and the Spammers could fight to the death. And the rest would be fed to the Stalkers.

Stalkers: These people range from creepy to dangerous and every level in between. Who are they? Possibly spurned lovers, crazies, people who are angry with their life or jealous of someone else’s life. Either way, they use every means possible to unsettle their target. It’s like a home invasion that goes on in perpetuity.
These people are savvy and smart too, using sites like Facebook to assume the identity of their target and then infiltrate his/her world. (Yes, this just happened to “Another One of The Guys.”)
They are very difficult to get rid of.

So, what to do about all this?

All of this technology allows businesses and yes even Bloggers to expand their brand and reach a wider audience, but reaching a wider audience can also mean more problems. But that shouldn’t stop any of us. We can’t let these people slow us down! So keep your radar up and don’t let them get to you.

How do you combat these Personal Space Invaders?


23 Comments on Personal Space Invaders

  1. For blog comment spam I use a combination of Akismet and the “Did You Pass Math?” WordPress plugin.

  2. I wear my special PSI goggles! It has special features to see through them all *evil laugh*

    *looks around suspiciously*

    Yes. Back to the post! Very interesting topic. With every development there are downsides and you can do all you can to keep the stalkers and spammers away, there is a tiny chance that they can break through your security. It is a vicious circle. Oh, I met people who were a talker/toucher/hugger in one :|. That was scary (also that was a major understatement!)


  3. As someone who is uncomfortable with all those types, I would say I would feel more joy in kicking the touchers, huggers and spammers into a bit vat of acid than the rest. The rest I would force to eat rat feces by gunpoint.

    Always the Gentleman,



  4. Caller ID is the best invention ever. I NEVER answer the phone unless I can identify the caller. And I’m not watching the game.

  5. I prefer the term ‘creeper’ to ‘stalker’ assholes!!!!! I’m like agent 007 okay!!!! I’m totally undetectable… Off the radar… Amazingly invincible!

    It is considered a great privilege to be ‘creeped’ by this ‘Crazy Brunette’ okay?

    Not everyone is fortunate enough to be on the list of creep worthy. As long as I keep commenting, you guys know you’re still one of the lucky ones!!!

  6. -Is there anyone out there who likes close talkers? Yuk! How many steps backwards can you take without seeming rude? And somehow these people keep coming forward and forward.

    -I’m really good at misunderstanding the hugging and kissing people and dodge away in time.

    – Online invaders are kept at bay with technology.

    – And the worst of all can really drive me mad. Moving 8000 kms from home was a great thing to do!!

  7. I worry about the younger kids and this whole privacy thing. Do you think they don’t really realize what they’re putting out there when they’re on these social networking sites? I’ve got filters all over my facebook so only people I’m really close to see my whole profile. Same with my myspace. But what about these kids who have grown up in this technological world where it’s completely normal to put your pictures, your entire personality, everything you are out there for the world to see? It freaks me out, a LOT.
    Great topic as always GUYS. You spark debate and make me think. A tough feat on a Thursday morning. 😉

  8. Great post as always. I think we all can relate. I also agree with Date Girl’s comment about younger generations. I mean some people post everything they do on social sites such as Facebook. I mean saying when you will be out of town and having your address posted is like just saying “Robbers welcome – We Won’t be home!!”

    And as far as one of the guy’s being stalked on Facebook?! Wow so someone actually created a fake page or something? That is crazy! What is wrong with some people.

    I mean I think we are guilty of cyber stalking at some point or another. Weather it be checking out the facebook profile of a new person your dating or seeing that the Prom Queen wasn’t quite destined for greatness , I think that our curiousty gets the better of us sometime.

    It’s a double edged sword.


  9. Did you ever notice if you move backwards from a ‘close talker’, they move in closer? Someone was talking so close to me gum flew of out that person’s mouth and hit me in the face. I now tell ‘close talkers’ to back away because I require a “wider field of vision”. Most often that works. Also, I never answer my phone unless I recognize the number.

    Thanks for you comments on About Moe – Daily.
    I am adding you guys to my blog roll.

  10. @diana….Thanks! We love your site!

    @E….yes, it’s a double edged sword for sure… far as Facebook…yes, someone created a profile as one of us, and then tried to friend the rest of us. Creepy as hell!

  11. I’m a huger, and now I feel awful, I shall try hard not to hug those I love or really like…although I try to avoid the splitters and pace, this sometimes throws them off guard…

    Dorothy from grammology

  12. @grammology……Keep in mind this is The Guy’s Perspective, so in this case we’re most likely talking about creepy guys.
    You can “Big Hug” us any day!!

  13. Well, let’s face it, we cannot avoid personal space invaders. But it’s much better to device a way to avoid their sting. 🙂

  14. Great article, really funny! Your descriptions of the various types are really wonderful. I’m not a big toucher or hugger myself, but I enjoy being around people who are. I think it’s fun, but I can see how a woman might be less enthusiastic. Spammers don’t bother me, I sort of like the attention. I’d rather see spam in my shoutbox than nothing at all. And usually, they’re just poor slobs like me, trying to survive in this crazy cyber world.

  15. @nothingprofound……you have such a positive attitude, especially about spammers. I love it!

  16. @walter……right on!

  17. I hate space invaders. When someone stands too close to me when we are talking I always want to go, “This is my dance space, this is your dance space.”

    My dad is one of those hand crushers when he shakes hands. Every bf I’ve ever had has complained about how he broke their fingers when he shook their hand.

    I hate spammers. I’ve been getting so much spam on my blogs lately and it’s pissing me off.

    Great post!

    Have a fantastic weekend!


  18. I am fortunate to be encountering phone solicitors and spammers right at this time. The one I hate most is phone solicitors, they not only call you at the wrong timing, some of them are rude too; when I told he/her that I am not interest, he/she would slam down the phone. Totally unprofessional.

  19. Who know that the game Space Invaders of years ago was a portend of the future? SPAM is annoying, I agree. What really concerns me (as it does the government) are hackers. We have to have more and more protection on our computer from the Internet these days. It’s like putting a condom it! I mean, when they are able to hack into the Pentagon, what chance do we have? But the highways and bi-ways of the Internet are here to stay. I really enjoy it, although I do think caution is necessary.

  20. @askcherlock… the condom metaphor. Too funny!

    @BK……they just don’t get it do they?

    @raven……too funny about your dad. I like it. I might have to be that kind of dad too for my daughter too!

  21. Guys this is a great post! Unfortunately I was on the other end of phone soliciting when I was an insurance agent. When I called people I always felt it was wrong, even when my bosses told me it was for the business. Then the federal govt decided people on Medicare needed their privacy and they cut it out after I left:) I personally can’t stand anyone calling me for solicitation and I’m never nice to them:)

    Also I have had experience with both a toucher and a big hugger while I was at the same position. He was my manager, but he just had so many excuses for hugs and touched you as he spoke:) At a party I try to move far away if I encounter either of the types you mentioned:) If someone shows even the slightest hint f any of these I’m across the room with a hasty excuse!

    The kind I hate are the people who appear normal and then you sit down to talk and they’re touching your arm or worse your knee. I’m nottalking about guys, but straight women who just touch you.:) I usually move away from them. It’s creepy to have a stranger touch you:)

  22. Funny post with Great word of encouragement and we certainly would keep our radar up. The Spammers are the one that almost got to me. I too had been recently inundated with some real crazy Spammers over the last few weeks.. Thanks

  23. Awesome topic….space invaders are most definitely self-centered and/or ignorant to the fact that they are infact crossing a very personal line.
    There are many ways to avoid these types of humans through technology or choice of social events.
    Personally I am very much a private person who does not appreciate anyone stepping into my space without invitation.

    People moving in a step when you move back a step reminded me of a thought I have always pondered over about Movie Theaters or Bars…you can easily identify the space invaders…if you are one of the first people to enter and chose a seat…the space invaders are so predictable in that pout of all the empty spaces they can choose to take….they must choose the one right next to you.
    It’s not like there is a sign stating..’You must sit next to the first person you see upon entry’…eeeek!!!!

    The spitters…GROSSSS!!!

    The touchy, feely ones….never get that close to me…as I avoid them like the plague:)

    In most cases people that have that innate need to be that close to another has insecure issues of some sort and/or they need to feel in control of the conversation.

    Enjoyed the comments as much as I enjoyed the post.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Maximum comment length is 1500 characters.