Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cyber Harassment - Is there a line to be drawn?

Electronic communication - texting, IM, and email, etc.
Electronic social networking - facebook, twitter, and myspace, etc.

In the last couple of months, I've been barraged by aggressive, disturbing messages in various forms. Harassment, whether intended to be negative or positive is still harassment and is disconcerting just the same.
It is interesting how things "come my way." At this time, when I am dealing with these unpleasant communications, I was given a couple of articles to study in my English 101 course. This first link will take you to an article having to do with the etiquette of respecting the privacy of people. In days gone by, gossip was passed from person to person, and though it was damaging, it is no match for the speed at which a "Reply all" button can fire out information to vast numbers of people at one time. And, just as fast are the public posts made on sites like "facebook" or "myspace" or even a blog!
Think! - before your spread your news (especially about someone else), whether good or bad, publicly. http://tinyurl.com/ykv5xvx

This second article has to do with the lengths to which some people can or may need to go when faced with dealing with unwanted communication. I've often said that it is very easy to click "send" but it's impossible to click "send back!"
We often let down our guard when it comes to propriety because we feel a false sense of safety "behind the screen." Thus, we feel we can vent things that we would never say face to face or even in a hand written letter - and not think twice about sending it off. People are getting tired and quite sensitive to the this kind of treatment. I know I am! They are beginning to draw a line, set boundaries, in order to protect themselves and ones they love. I feel we will be seeing more and more cases in court having to do with issuing a "cease and desist" order (a restraining order) to individuals who won't respect a person's "No!".

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