The Horrifying Truth of Cyberstalking

Cyberstalkers are familiar with their victims and in most cases, they are after a goal in mind Photo by Harry Wyman | The Signal

There are scary things in the world we live in. In the beginning, we might feel that we are invincible like nothing could ever hurt us. Sadly, this is not the case; there are terrible people in this world that might want to hurt us in the process. Whether it is from online in real life, some people do not have the same morals as others. Sometimes these morals can harm people because their moral code is not the same as the norm.

Unlike how it was 20 years ago, we do not have to meet horrible people in real life anymore. In most cases, we meet these people in the scariest place where we most likely will never meet them face-to-face.

The internet is a scary place because anyone can say whatever they are feeling without the fear of consequences like we have in real life. A lot of people use the internet to rant about their opinions about anything. It could be how they feel about their political group or it can just be where people can get the news about specific topics.

Unlike in real life, there is no absolute security waiting for us online; it can let people do whatever they want without consequences. One of these activities is what we call cyberstalking. Cyberstalking is when someone plans out a series of harassing messages over a long period. Unlike actual stalking, cyberstalking is only internet-based; the stalker would send various messages to their victim a day. These messages can be annoying or even be frightening to the victim.

According to the National Library of Medicine, Cyberstalking can have significant psychosocial impacts on cyberstalking victims. The victims report several severe consequences of victimization: Increased suicidal ideation, fear, anger, depression, and PTSD. Due to the traumatic situation the victim was thrown in, they cannot see the world the same way they did in their early life. Because of this situation where they were constantly harassed and threatened with no escape whatsoever, they cannot see people as harmless.

According to What Cyberstalking is and How to Prevent it?, Cyberstalkers are familiar with their victims. Most people get frequent messages from friends or colleagues in which can be pretty distracting. Still, it is considered cyberstalking if the person receives intrusive messages from an unfamiliar person or a casual acquaintance. The stalkers always have a motive behind their cyberstalking: Revenge, anger, control, or lust. Various cases of cyberstalking involve someone trying to get the attention of a former or would-be partner.

The aftermath of these events can even affect a person’s relationships. When the person is enduring this harassment, they are unsure who is doing this. They might suspect the closest people in their life of being doing this to them. And in response to that suspicion that would make the person push those people further away.

Some people might never get past their horrifying experience with cyberstalking. It can make a person change due to the various scary events they were forced to endure because an unstable person made them go through it. It can affect the way the victim sees other people. It can make them paranoid with every social interaction they might have, whether in real life or on the internet. This could isolate the person, making them dig an even deeper hole in their suffering.

 The internet is a scary place, with different people we will never see in our real-life lives. Cyberstalking shows us how anyone can be a target, whether for revenge, lust, or even anger. Anyone can be a victim of cyberstalking. 

Next time you are on your favorite social media website, think of how you can make yourself feel safe on that website and what steps you must take to be in that safe place.