I was recently reading a post on a forum where a member accused others of Cyber Bullying. As you can imagine this was the ‘hot topic’ for several days and went to almost 300 posts, not counting the off topic comments that were removed.
In fact, cyber-bullying relates to children, once adults become involved, it is plain and simple cyber-harassment or cyber stalking. Whether the poster was correct or not, is irrelevant, they felt they were being targeted, which is enough and as this has happened to me, I felt great sympathy for the person involved.
My experience started almost three years ago and came about after meeting someone from a social forum. I thought they were nice, the fact that they told me they did not like their daughter-in-law and tried demanding her medical records to prove she was ‘mad’ or the delight they took in monitoring a trouble-maker (ironically now their best friend) on a daily basis, emailing contacts saying he is on again, watching! … Did not at the time ring any alarm bells – being blonde I can sometimes be a bit slow! However, I experienced firsthand this person’s wrath following a disagreement over a restaurant meal.
From being a friendly correspondent on the internet this person started to harass me by hijacking the posts I submitted. They tried to discredit information I gave, made false accusations and tried to damage my reputation by posting defamatory or derogatory statements, to the extent they managed to turn other people against me.
This cyber-stalker was very clever. They wanted to get me banned from the site and in their attempts to do this; I received compliments from supposedly other forum members. The stalker saying I was posting these through multiple accounts reported these and the website owners looked into these accusations. Of course, they found nothing, and I am still a member and post regularly, however, the result is that whenever anyone sends me a compliment, whether it is genuine or not, I automatically delete it.
I received private messages from supposedly new members wanting to know the details, designed purely for the purpose of getting a reaction. There were times when I did retaliate. While separate acts in themselves might appear to the outsider as trivial, spiteful and vindictive, taken together these repeated, unwanted and disruptive intrusions into my life are a form of mental assault, meant to cause distress.
To this day, my internet movements are monitored. If I join a new forum or social media network, within several days I am followed. It has made me cautious to the extent that if forum members, who I eventually get to trust, want to email me, I insist that if it is a group email I am always blind copied, I do not want my information passing to others without my permission. They may think I am slightly odd, but if they had experienced what I have, they would probably understand.
These unwelcome intruders are no different to stalkers in the physical world. So a word of warning, do not put up with it, do not give in to their threats, and do not let them win. The longer you are around in a place they feel is theirs the more it annoys them, and on the bright side, now that I’m aware of their antics and tricks I’m highly amused by them, not their intended purpose. Still you’ve got to laugh haven´t you!!