This post is different than the ones I normally post, but I’m on the verge of shutting down my social media accounts. It’s no secret that people get bullied, harassed and stalked online. There are tons of articles about it and what to do if it happens to you. There are also laws against cyberbullying or stalking in lots of countries. But when it does happen to you, you’re kind of at a loss as to what to do. Some people don’t understand it because it hasn’t happened to them, or say that it’s part of putting yourself out there, so I should expect it. So it almost seems like it’s become almost acceptable or excusable in certain cases.
But no it’s not to be expected. It’s not acceptable and blaming the victim is never ok.
My social media presence
I’m on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. I use them all daily. I try to spread messages of positivity and healthy living tips and recipes. I also like to connect with and learn about other people’s views and things they have to offer. My Instagram and Twitter accounts are open. My Facebook account used to be open, and now I only accept friends of friends (more on this later).
I am very active and engaged on all platforms. I like and comment on the posts of people I follow, and I respond to every comment on mine (unless they’re inappropriate). My face is out there frequently as I try to match the images I use to the content. I fully think out my posts. But my face being out there is the problem I guess.
I have/had (he’s been quiet for a couple of months, so maybe this time he’s given up) a stalker that found me on Instagram, but it didn’t stop there and got so bad I had to call the police.
I also had to shut down my original Facebook account because of sexual harassment and bigotry. But to run the Art of Being Fabulous Facebook page, I need a personal Facebook account, so I opened up a new account in July with a few friends and then accepted some friends of friends. However, some people that are close friends of my family or friends have started to send unwelcome messages and pictures, even after I have either not responded or directly said to leave me alone.
- I state no Direct Messages in my bio on Instagram.
- I have taken messenger off of Facebook (although people can still message you whenever they want for some reason).
- I block people when they do something inappropriate.
But the point is, how did this all become acceptable?
What is not acceptable (These have all happened to me in the last year)
- Sending unrequested nude pictures
- Repeatedly messaging someone (I’ve gotten up to 50 messages in one day from a person) who isn’t responding or tells you no
- Calling someone a bitch or worse for not responding
- Verbally harassing a person because they are not responding (especially when said person has no direct messages right on their profile)
- Telling someone your fantasies about them when they haven’t expressed an interest in you
- Threatening or using intimidation tactics to get a person to be with you
- Getting a new profile or phone number after you’ve been blocked so you can come back and start harassing again
When I tell people my stories, most times the response has been “well you put yourself out there what did you expect?” One person I know that uses dating apps said this to me, and my response back was if you didn’t like someone you went on a date with and they did any one of these things to you, would that be ok? She said no of course not. And that’s my point, why is it ok to happen to me, or people like me who are just on social media like so many others? I’m only trying to spread messages of hope and positivity.
None of us ask for people to harass us, and it is uncomfortable and scary in some instances.
Yesterday the messages I got from someone were almost my last straw and made me want to shut down my accounts immediately. And I don’t want to do that. I have connected with some cool people through social media.
Sorry, this post turned out a lot longer than I thought, but I needed to get it out!