Friday, August 5, 2016

An exercise in patience

For a couple of months now I’ve had someone harassing me online. I’m not happy or proud about it, but I only regret one thing about the situation. Let me explain.

Around March, I had someone follow me who seemed a tad on the enthusiastic side. I try to be open to everyone, regardless of social strata, gender, sexuality, race, religion, creed, and political views. I work hard as hell to respond to every single comment I receive because I think that if someone was kind enough to leave a comment, the least I can do is acknowledge.

It’s been 3 years since I’ve started connecting with people via social media to promote my work and encourage a community mentality where respect is paramount. On one occasion I had someone who was a bit rude to a fellow reader who commented on a Pacquiao post I did and I asked nicely for them to modify their behavior and they did. In that time, I had engaged with hundreds and possibly thousands of people at varying levels.

I had never full on blocked someone telling them I couldn’t handle the way they were, or how they acted. I have friends who have a variety of physical, emotional, and even psychological conditions. I have friends who have clinical depression, who have been on suicide watch, who suffer from anxiety attacks, who have survived cancer, who have had catastrophic accidents, who have lost loved ones, and everyone has been welcome in my little hubs in cyber space.

And then I came into contact with someone who is overwhelming, who seems to have psychological problems, who has a detached sense of reality, and I tried to be nice, but it got weird and fast to the point that I felt out of my depth, out of control, and completely uncomfortable.

So I made the decision to block this person. I also decided to let them know that I’m blocking them and why I’m blocking them. I wanted this person to have closure and not wonder what the hell happened.

And as usual, life teaches you that sometimes you shouldn’t be nice.

After blocking on G+, I had this person follow and harass on my author Twitter, follow me on my personal account, and then follow me on Youtube.

The person in question then decided to take to Youtube to open her channel and mock me, criticize me, accuse me of plagiarism, and do anything in her power to let people know that I’m bad news and all sorts of evil.

I stopped checking the videos because honestly it does upset me and to a certain degree even frightens me how good intentions can lead to such an outcome and a person who is intent on causing damage. I honestly believe this person needs psychological help. I also believe that people with severe emotional or psychological disorders should get more help and have their access to the Internet limited for safety reasons, themselves as well as other people. Case in point, this person put her WhatsApp phone number and this information can be used against her.

But it is what it is.

I tried reporting to Youtube, but they don’t see anything wrong with her channel. So I got to thinking, maybe Youtube is right. I may not like that they didn’t put much effort to modify the behavior and it truly shows that if you’re not famous, odds of getting assistance are nil. But it did show me that if I believe in freedom of expression, the person in question can say what she wants and I can let my actions and who I am as a person speak for me.

To finish this up, let me also add a couple of tidbits.

If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, block them. It is your right.

If someone seems odd and not in the good way, block them. It is your right.

If someone says something offensive to someone who is your friend, block them. It is your right AND your duty as a friend.

And finally…

If someone decides that they want to dedicate their time to ripping into you, ignore them. It is your right.

To all the other hundreds and thousands of people that have shared so many versions of the word kindness, my love and my best to you.

Peace, love, and maki rolls

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