In January 2015 it will be four years since I got started on Twitter. It took some time to get the hang of it and once I did, I found it to be one big chat box. No one on Twitter talks to just everyone that comes along in their timeline. Each of us find our little niche we fit into, where we feel comfortable. Some people join you in that niche, others peek in, exchange a couple of words and disappear again. Just like in real life, you don’t have to feel a click with everyone you talk to online, but when you talk to them, you can at least be civil.
Unfortunately, just like in real life, some people are on Twitter to make the lives of others a living hell. It can be because of jealousy, because of pure meanness or because they just like to bully someone. I have had my share of tears because of Twitter. Mean things have been said to me. People who judged me to be totally different from what I am. People who called me a fake. It took me quite some time to find the block button. I didn’t want to block people. That seemed so incredibly rude. But eventually I found the block button and after that, it became easier to block people who seem to have no manners at all.
This post is not about me and my experiences on Twitter.
What I don’t understand is that there are some people out there who make it their goal to make the lives of others miserable. Those people come across someone else on Twitter and when they envy them in some or other way, they seem to find that a reason to make that person’s live a living hell. Some of these people go as far as to stalk such a person, not only on Twitter and other social platforms, but in real life too. They don’t just turn away and let it be. No, they take it up a notch. They gain as much real life information about the person as they can get, send mean private messages to mutual followers about the person and sometimes even send letters or cards to the physical address of such a person.
A couple of months ago I learned that someone we know were stalked. Seriously stalked. He received letters at home, phone calls at work and at home and even his wife was contacted. Thankfully he and his wife are very open about their sexual encounters and adventures, so the stalker didn’t damage their marriage, but he/she managed to frighten their kids. For weeks they lived in fear. They cut off all bonds with everyone, not able to trust anyone they had contact with on social media. Yes, they even cut off all contact with people from social media whom they have met in real life. They were afraid and didn’t know what to do. Eventually they reached out to people by email, telling what had happened to them and asking for help. They also contacted their local police.
When I received the email, I was appalled. And angry. I even felt a flourish of hate towards the stalkers. Why can’t people just let others alone? Why do people have to threaten others? Because of jealousy? Because this friend of ours had something they wanted? Because the stalker wanted this friend of ours as its own and thought stalking him and his family might chase him into his/her arms? I offered my help and gave them tips on making their social profiles more secure. Things seemed to have settled down and slowly they started reaching out on social media again.
And then it happened all over again. Someone else I know was warned against this friend of ours. Exactly the same things as had been said months ago, was now said again. It was said that he is a fraud, that he will use any personal information he had managed to get for blackmailing purposes. Terribly mean things were said. All untrue!
I do not understand why stalkers stalk. Don’t they realize how much hurt they are causing? Don’t they understand that they cause so much damage? That people who are stalked can’t sleep, are too afraid to leave the house, are scared all of the time? I just cannot get my head around why these stalkers are doing it. And you know what else I cannot get my head around? That these stalkers do not throw their message out there in the open, but they always send their lies out in private messages. If they were really concerned for the ‘safety’ of those they are ‘warning’, why don’t they just throw it out in the open and warn everyone at once?
My opinion: because they know they’re lying!
My piece of advise to (potential) stalkers: If someone else has something you don’t, it can happen that you feel jealousy, but there’s something such as ‘live and let live’. Just accept that you don’t have what that person has and move on. Stop spreading hate. In the end you will be the one who is consumed by it!
As for me? I definitely know where the block button is and have gained a lot of experience in using it.
© Rebel’s Notes