A young woman went viral on social media when she offered some odd advice: if you live alone, you should NOT turn your lights on immediately after coming home. At first, it sounded a bit crazy, but then she gave the explanation behind it.
Following a scary experience, Mary Alice posted her story on TikTok and gave viewers some advice. She noticed that a creepy stranger was waiting for her to get home so he could locate her apartment and cause her harm. She felt this was an important subject requiring a warning for others, so the TikToker shared both her personal experience and a safety suggestion with her audience.
“When you go home at night, don’t turn your lights on immediately after you get in your apartment,” she said. “Especially if people can see the windows of your apartment from the street. Because if someone’s following you home, they’re gonna know what apartment you live in. When I got home tonight, I got out of my car, and there was a man getting s**t out of his car. I had never seen him before this morning when he was in my apartment complex area.”
“And he just gave me bad vibes for whatever,” Mary Alice said. “I got out of my car at night. And he tries to make conversation with me about my headlight because it’s out right now. I go, ‘Oh, yeah, yeah, I just have to get around to it.’ Whatever. I go inside. Don’t turn the lights on. But I have a feeling to check my ring camera.”
Many people encounter the common sensation of feeling unsafe or being followed. The sensation of being watched or pursued can be highly disturbing and result in substantial distress, whether a person is merely going about their business or strolling home at night. Anyone can experience feeling uncomfortable and being followed, therefore this experience is not exclusive to any one group of people.
“He’s standing in the street, which is very close to my apartment building, staring at my building,” Mary Alice said. “And he did not leave for like five minutes. Halfway through, he left the empty parking spot and hid behind a car. But he waited to see. So now he knows what car I drive and [the building] where I live, just not my apartment [number]. So don’t turn your lights on.”
Mary Alice is a songwriter and musician. She routinely shares personal experiences with her followers on TikTok under the account @heyitsmaryalice. She also shared a few other videos regarding the incident and some safety tips after her video went viral. The video gained 20 million views in just the first six days. In the comments section, the viewers also contributed their advice and suggestions as well as some personal tales about interactions with strangers, feeling frightened, or being followed.
It is unsettling to consider what some individuals might have to do in order to feel safer. One woman wrote in the comment section that she takes a different path home each day and even leaves a pair of worn men’s shoes by the front door. Other women responded by saying they never even turn off their lights. Additionally, practically everyone in the comments concurred that if you feel that something is not right, that is usually the case. Never doubt your instincts.
Approximately 1 in 6 women and 1 in 17 men, according to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, reported having been the victim of stalking at some point in their life. According to research, stalking can result in post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. These figures are highly concerning, but following Mary Alice’s advice might help prevent some of these terrible incidents.