January is stalking awareness month, so let’s talk about the problem so many of us have faced: cyberstalking and online abuse.
First, if you have experienced cyberstalking, you, your friends, your family, and your community have done nothing wrong! Do not blame yourselves!
Many people who are just going about their everyday lives suddenly find themselves caught up when a Tweet or Facebook post goes viral, when a video is taken of them on the street and shared online or when someone with a hate-filled heart discovers their blog and begins seething with jealous rage and envy.
Too many journalists have ceased reporting the news and have become, instead, full-time, creepy, stalkers who make-up lies for click bait.
These lies then spread faster than a wildfire on dry grass and, without warning, people’s entire lives can be ruined. They lose their jobs, their friends, family members turn on them but please remember, if this happened to you, you have done nothing wrong!
If this has happened to a friend or relative, they have done nothing wrong!
When this happens to someone in the media, please, do not spread further lies and rumors. Use your social media platform to either correct lies, defend them or stay silent.
Do not share outrage porn, do not gossip about people you don’t know. Do not share in the temporary dopamine rush generated by the pitchforked mobs – even when it’s someone on the “other side” having their life ruined.
Be better. Do better.
Millions of people per year are victims of some sort of cyberbullying, cyberstalking or other, online or media-based abuse.
However, don’t feel like you have to run and hide, either preemptively or after being attacked! Stand your ground! This social trend, like all others of the past, will pass.
The two most important things you can do today are…
1) Continue to be normal both online and off.
2) Stop sharing outrage porn.
If all of us did these two, simple things, this would all end tomorrow.
Be brave my friends, the best is yet to come. ♥
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