Dear Tell All: I sometimes read the Missed Connections section on Craigslist for entertainment. Some of those posts are hilarious, as are the responses. The idea is that people place an ad reaching out to someone they saw, somewhere, hoping to make a connection.
But I just ran across one directed toward someone I know! It was a creepy post to this attractive woman who works in a local shop, asking for a hookup. Should I tell her? It is entirely possible she would take me for the original poster (which I certainly am not!). We don't know each other personally, though I admit that I've had my eye on her for a while.
So what to do? I think she should know that she has been spotted (the store name was in the post), but I don't want to freak her out unnecessarily. I also don't want her to start thinking I'm creepy. Help!
Dear Sammy: This is the Internet, where stupid stuff gets written about virtually everybody at one point or another. And that particular section of Craigslist is rife with fake posts and over-the-top responses, mixed in with (probably) sincere yearnings. I know several people who put up fake posts just for the fun of it. One friend got 72 email responses simply from "Saw you in the parking lot w4m." There are entire websites dedicated to aggregating fake posts and responses, such as ShipsThatPass.tumblr.com.
I wouldn't worry much, since Missed Connections are usually harmless. Plus, the post will be off the main page in a day or two and thus be even more harmless. And finally, it's impossible to do anything about this without a court order demanding the original poster's email address. That would be tough to obtain in the absence of any illegal or dangerous activity.
But here is your homework: Scour the site and see if your shopgirl responded. Maybe Missed Connections really do work! In which case you know exactly how to proceed.