I made the decision to deactivate my social media accounts because they had become a nuisance. I juggled with the idea for a while, and then had an educated conversation about with a close friend. From my standpoint; I personally didn’t see the relevance of using any social media platform beyond a tool for advertisement. I’ve authored a few novels and in the past during the initial launch, social media was a big assistance in sales and revenue. Beyond that, I had no other interest in the daily interactions. My biggest push for this decision came in the form of bullying and other harassment. As these events occurred, I realized something. People like to hide behind devices and use social media platforms to appear as something more than they really are. At the very end of my day, anything posted online is irrelevant, period. There is us, the anonymous journalists who find the positive and healthy interaction here. We empty out our deepest thoughts and secrets for the simple fact that we know we are being genuine and will receive interactions with others who are going through similar situations. With the social media accounts, we have a tendency to post photos and other redundant information about ourselves only to socialize (even if digitally) with friends and family. The simplicity of that sentence isn’t true for all users, though. People abuse, lie, manipulate and distort truths for personal gain and/or because there are legal documents (such as refrain from/stay away orders) preventing them from face-to-face interaction with the targeted person. The genuine person we are is obviously kept out of these social platforms as a means for privacy and even protection. Being on the ugly end of social media, I have concluded that since it serves me no purpose, there is no reason to continue using it.
I don’t believe that everyone has gone through the situations that I have in social media. So, I began reading various blogs and even asking some friends about their experiences. One of the most common responses from my female friends talked a lot about ex boyfriends and former male classmates sending them suggestive messages. One of my friends stated that she couldn’t understand why the guy messaging her ignored her ‘married’ status. Another friend said she talked back and forth with the old high school guy friend until it got to the point where he was asking for a tryst. One of the most common responses from my male friends also spoke about old friends and ex partners contacting them. I really can’t ramble on too much about what others have stated but what I am going to do is talk about what I have experienced over the years and why I will never go back.
When I first made my social media profile, I was still with my abusive ex. Due to the isolation of that relationship administered by him, I was ecstatic to come upon a media site that would get me outside of that house, even if virtually. Once I made the profile, I got friend suggestions of old classmates that I hadn’t seen in years as well as family members. The site appealed to me greatly because now I could talk with people without using a telephone. This was important because I was met with fists and anger if I dared to use a phone without him in earshot. Because I was so destitute and dying within, I wasn’t shy about sending people a random “hi” with the intention of having a normal conversation with another adult. I wasn’t seeking romantic company, or anything devious in nature, but rather intelligent conversation where I wasn’t being called names. My abusive ex was often treating me like a child while verbally abusing me. What I really wanted from other people was verification that I wasn’t worthless, stupid, better off dead or any other phrases and put downs that he’d often say to me. My mistake in that was my naive knowledge of society outside of the abusive ex and his family. Simply put, I hadn’t been out in the world long enough before him to understand every facet of humanity and its intentions.
As I began to talk with other people, I noticed that many of them thwarted my intentions and twisted it around to best suit what they were looking for. Like my friends I talked with above, a lot of the guys took my simple kindness as an invite for a tryst. Once I told them that I was disinterested, they called me similar names that the abusive ex would. Foolishly, I didn’t give up hope and throughout my years of using social media, all people really wanted were trysts or pity for themselves. Not only was I crossing people who wanted quickies, but women or others who wanted someone to hear them and help them without giving in return.
One social media network led me to the other, and oddly I had much less problems over there. Between the social vampires, drama queens, and sexaholic cheaters, I uncovered a network of professionals who were authors much like myself. To avoid jealous wives through the men I crossed, I befriended them as well and let them and their husband know that my intentions were simple. I wanted to network with like-minded authors and learn from those who were largely successful. Interestingly enough, I found the right network because I hadn’t endured a single issue from those contacts. From that experience, I tried to bring that over to the original social media platform and uncovered forums and groups. It was a suggestion from one of the more successful authors that I had teamed up with. For a period of time, that worked out well until I left the abusive ex. Because I knew that he wouldn’t leave me alone, I deactivated my original account and made a new one. Somehow however, he located the new one and on came the bullying induced with lies and not only was it him, it was all of the people he convinced that I was somehow abusive myself.
Interestingly enough, I really didn’t let him encroach my life so much that I ran off immediately because I knew the truth and remained strong. People would ‘angry’ chat me over something he had made up and I wouldn’t engage in the repartee. One of them eventually made a scene and as we all know, public drama is similar to flies on shit. Once it is there steaming, they come in numbers towards it. People I barely even knew were commenting and many were stating that my lack of acknowledgment to the drama only proved whatever was being said was right. They began to publicly shun me and create lies and fabrications about me in such a fervor that some of my family members stepped in and said things in retaliation such as “none of you were even there” and “if he is the real victim, why is he trying too hard to defame her” both were valid points. All of these outsiders felt so led to pelt me with stones without ever really meeting me and demanding my attention to their meaningless public drama. I continued to ignore it because I know why I left and I owe nobody nothing, not even an explanation.
What is it about social media where groups of people believe they can step into other people’s situations forming assumptions, thoughts and opinions based on a one window aspect. Without not actually being there in the house or situation, nobody on the outside can even begin to understand the actual truth of what it was. Another problem is that they act like they themselves are important and are owed something.
So with all of this; I sat back and said to myself “what are the pros and cons of using that social media platform” and my cons outweighed the pros. There are no real benefits and it became a resource for the abusive ex to use to have a pathetic virtual go at me. The only little bit that kept me from deactivating it much sooner was the ability to share photos with family who live out of state. It was also the best-selling author’s suggestion on how to effectively sell books in the 21st century market. To solve both of these issues; my family can use texting or email for interaction and structuring a better market-phase for future works. This means more submissions to major publishers and more dedication to detail in my own work. If publishers aren’t picking it up, then it’s back to the drafting board to create something that will capture their interest. The self-advertising is more actual grunt work and agony because I am not a marketing professional. I am simply an artist of many traits who enjoys the creation process. I am also content with myself knowing that if the book is never picked up, I had at least tried.
I will end this by saying that it is shameful that others go out of their way to ruin experiences. It is as well a shame how people think it is okay to gang up on one person from behind a computer. There’s a name for that – a virtual coward. A person who wouldn’t dare do or say those things in a face-to-face interaction. They are either too afraid, or they’re hiding who they are behind someone else’s account or picture. In my case, I think the latter. I realize that I have went on a while in this journal entry, but I wanted to share my experiences in hopes of helping others currently in it or to feel less alone in it. I doubt I am the only one who has endured such situations in social media.