Over the last couple of years I have had a number of friends who have become victims of cyber bullying, but the fact is that it does not just remain bullying. One of my friends was embarking on a divorce when she suddenly started to receive a barrage of hate email from all kinds of email addresses. Turns out this was orchestrated by the would be ex to get the wife to just agree to the divorce terms.
This was very hurtful, but what it started was a whole cycle of self doubt. The whole matter got completely out of hand, and before anybody knew how serious it was, my friend had taken an overdose. The mental and emotional damage took a person to a distorted place that made them feel that they just did not want to get up. This person was already trying to manage bipolar, which does not need anything to mess with its curve cycle.
Now we have these undisclosed bloggers who write anything they want about another person with seeming little consequence. Although, in the news recently, we have seen Google "man-up" the identity.
In the past people had to sign their names to things they said about another person so that person could defend themselves. No such privilege in the "blog sphere". Who wants or chooses to afford to go all through the legal process it takes to bring the rampant writers to heel?
I have another friend who always says, "Because you can does not mean you should." I have taken that to heart, because when people do things to others just because they can and accountability and consequences are easy to hide from, often things that you don't expect happen.
We know that jealousy and revenge are two great motivators, and when those feelings are unleashed who knows what might happen. However the new arsenal of cyber weaponry which plays with the mind and the feelings is not a healthy thing to mixed up in.
If you feel tempted and angry and you just want to send a message to the whole world about a person, think twice, as there are more and more people who are going to fight back. My mother always told me to ask myself, before I spoke, whether what I was about to say was wise, kind and necessary. If it wasn't one of those three, be careful.
I work with women that have become paralyzed with fear from cyber bullying and have barely missed death by taking their own lives from the extreme anxiety this creates. One situation I knew about was a story of a woman who revealed some intimate secret about her husband's sexuality to a few friends. One of them chose to blog about it. The husband found out and allowed his brothers to rape his wife to teach her a lesson. You can only contemplate how mentally sick all parties involved have become from this.
Who will regulate cyberspace remains to be seen. You, on the other hand, can regulate yourself.
If you are experiencing something frightening that is making you feel overwhelmed, do not let it get out of control. Seek professional help to manage yourself safely out of the situation.