Earlier today, I had to block and report a fellow Twitter user after a series of inappropriate and downright creepy DMs flooded my inbox. This isn’t the first time that I’ve experienced something unsavoury with a social media user, and while it’s not as serious as some I’ve experienced it was enough to make me feel… uneasy.
Social media and blogging is fabulous for the exact reason that it can be dangerous: It expands your world. Through blogging and social media, I’ve met some of the most wonderful, talented, amazing people across Canada and the world and I am pleased to call many of these people “friend”. Social media helped me make some super duper new friends in Halifax (lookin’ at you, Peady! And Hannah! And so many others!) and scored me my current job and a handful of other offers. It make strangers your friends. But it also lets strangers into your world.
And sometimes strangers are, well, strange.
I have received unsolicited dick pics (not that I’d ever solicit one), and hateful comments; I’ve been called fat, stupid, a bad mother and I’ve received explicit messages detailing what someone would “like to do to me”. I’ve been asked on dates, offered bizarre jobs and received long-winded messages where a complete stranger shares a personal story and it’s not all bad, but it’s made me wonder: has social media totally ruined our social skills?
Most people I know wouldn’t whip their dick out on the street, but more and more people feel comfortable taking a photo of their “situation” and sending it via text or DM. People ask inappropriate questions online because somehow typing it and sending it across a screen makes it more “ok”.
And then, I remembered this video.