42 thoughts on “How safe are you online?

  1. This is really horrible! How people can target unknown women and that too, someone who has been open about being vulnerable just speaks volumes of their own disgusting mentality!

  2. Being forced out of FB because of creeps is so sad. Hope things get better and some light is there at the end of the tunnel. Yes, coming out openly with the mental disorder problem is a very brave thing to do. So for those, who derive some solace out of it and are able to break out of their silence, it might be the most crucial step. So you need to pat yourself on the back for them.

  3. It’s terrible actually, because although I do worry about this for myself, I’m very much terrified for my kids. What will the Internet look like for them? It’s frightening to even imagine.

    1. I know, right? I have kept my kid away from social media for this long. Then again, she’s just 9. So who knows what the future looks like? I pray and keep her aware. That’s the best we can do.

  4. Gosh! So sorry for you Shailaja and nothing is safe – offline/online. Anywhere.We have to find ways to protect ourselves. Can you use your Facebook page to connect with people than the personal one? I am thinking of ways and may those who troll are the ones who will not logically figure out whose page is it? Or maybe a ‘Moving Quill’ mailbox?
    Parul Thakur recently penned this post #MicroblogMondays – Those Language NuancesMy Profile

  5. I suppose the answer is always going to be ‘No one nor anything is safe online’. You can be careful, cautious, but people will eventually get to you.
    I’m not quite sure what to say, except sorry that you had to go through it. But you will have to go through it again probably.
    Just the perils of being online, I guess

  6. Good luck with dealing with this mess Shailaja. I cannot even imagine what kind of creeps would make you take such a drastic step and annoy you so much, but I do believe it must be really disgusting. You will sail through this, don’t worry 🙂

  7. Be gentle on yourself and take as much time as you need before you decide to come back on FB. I haven’t had such horrific experiences so I am in no position to say anything but I can imagine it must have been quite traumatic and disturbing, to say the least. The worst I have had to face in the online world is some downright insulting and atrocious comment on my blog, which is still relatively easier to manage. I don’t know how I would respond if I were to face something like what you describe here.

    Take care. Hugs!
    Beloo Mehra recently penned this post Silent TravelsMy Profile

    1. Thank you, Beloo, for being so supportive understanding. I’m feeling better now and will return soon. It’s made me realise what I must do to take care of myself. 🙂

  8. Such things makes me wonder if this is the reason why people in actual need sometimes don’t get help..You take your time, Shailaja..Be well and don’t let it occupy much space in your mind or heart..

    1. Thank you, Shantala. I know this has been terrible, but guess what, today I am happier. I have a new purpose in life and will see it through. Your support is all I need. 🙂

  9. Shailaja, I am so sorry and unhappy you have experienced/gone through this. We should be able to interact assuming we are safe.

  10. I hear you, S. I really do. I’m so glad you wrote this. We often tell people to grow thicker skin, but it really is a phrase that completely discounts a person’s experiences and that’s a load of crap right there. A steaming pile of it. I applaud your honesty.

    1. Yes, where is this thicker skin that everyone seems to have in ready supply? I’ve spent ages trying to grow mine and it’s just about medium thick now.

      Trivialising my situation is SO not done and I couldn’t help but talk about it today. Thanks for reading, Lisa. It means a great deal.

  11. It makes sense to go off for a while, and let things settle down a bit. I won’t advise you to stop chatting with people who say that they may have a few problems they need to speak about. But maybe there could be some way in which it could be regulated or controlled? Like, something in which the person could just drop off their questions, and then you could reply at your leisure, and the conversation ends with that?
    It may be a little rude, because people who are depressed need a comforting hand. But that’s the most logical solution I can think of. *hides face*
    Do take care, Shailaja. 😊

    1. I love you for your solutions, Mithila 🙂 If only things were quite that simple though. I sincerely hope I can find a way out of this and I know that God will help me find one. I just need to give it time and let go. For now, that’s the best thing possible.

      Thank you for all the love 🙂

  12. I hate it when people tell me to ‘ block/ ignore and move on’. It trivializes my outrage in a way that is intolerable. Where do they get off, these pompous condescending folks who stand detached, judge and offer absolutely idiotic advice that a child of five would know to be stupid?

    I’m sorry to know you are being hounded like this. Writing about your challenges was a wonderful thing to do. It is stories like yours that give us hope and courage to take the next step. And always… ALWAYS… the way to beat your demons into submission is to just take that next step.

    Been there, done that. So yes, I know where you’ve climbed out of. Anyone who trivializes that journey is unforgivably stupid. May God forgive them!

    I am deeply outraged to have read this post. I’m sorry for the pain you’ve had to go through. But as they say, there are no coincidences. This has happened for a reason… and it too shall pass.

    My prayers for your continued strength and courage. You have not come this far to falter because some sub-human cluelessly threw mud at your house.

    Hugs.

    1. I have been reading a lot since the beginning of the year, Dagny and the books have all been around the principles of speaking up even while being comfortable in my introversion. Somewhere, I felt comforted that this was the right thing to do- speak up about the illness that almost killed me. And to know I was helping people was enough. More than enough.

      Then this despicable act began and I ignored it at first. Slowly the rot spread to my inbox and finally one day on my FB photo, a fellow left a disgusting comment that I almost threw up. I deleted the picture and all the comments with it. What choice did I have?

      I shall pick myself up, of this I am certain. But as you said, I need time to heal. I hope I get it too. Thank you for your prayers. They mean a lot. 🙂

  13. Dear Shailaja,
    You always remind me of my mom – another person with a big heart. Ignoring is the best insult for such people ….that these trolls are not important enough to even mention or talk or remember.
    Also even I agree on some times blocking is best solution and report. I do it all the time, I think that is why FB / Twitter is so strict about it.
    Ladies selling porn seem to love me…..must be my smile 😉
    Please come back on FB with your sunshine.
    Lots of love and big giant bear hug. Love – Indy.
    Inderpreet Kaur Uppal recently penned this post #BookReview Black Dog Nights Part II by Ren MonterreyMy Profile

  14. Such foolish things make you opt out and affect people who could actually benefit from your association, sigh. 🙁
    I had deactivated my account when I started getting calls from some international number from a guy who said he got my number from Facebook. I was horrified since I never shared it openly. It was only through messages to genuine friends. Safe? I doubt.
    Give it time. That’s all I can say. Just incidents leave an ugly aftertaste, but you can’t let them get you.

    1. I know what you mean. What is safety online, after all? What kind of a world are we making for our kids? I really don’t know.

      Yes, I will give it some time. How long? I am not sure. I need to recover from this.

  15. I feel so angry and sad that you have to go through this. I can only imagine what a toll it must be taking on you. Trolling and rudeness online has surpassed all limits. I have suffered a few trolls and incidents that shook me. One that almost made me swear off blogging for months. I don’t really know what we can do? It upsets me no end as well. Yes, we may delete and block but it makes us sick inside. I totally understand where you are coming from. Take your time and think things over. I completely admire you for speaking about mental illness and your zeal to help others in need. Wish there was something l could do to help. Hugs!

    1. Thank you, Rachna. It makes us sick inside- you’ve said it so well. What do we do? They are not going to stop. I really need time to think this over. Thank you so much for all the support. It means the world to me. <3

  16. Something like this would creep me out too. As a rule, I do not respond to people I do not know. But your case is different from mine. IGNORING is the best weapon as such creeps are looking for attention.

    1. I know Lata. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t. But people have taken advantage of the mental health tag. Now genuine people may not be able to reach me. I hope they find the help they need by other means.

  17. I have such a difficult time believing that people can be so cruel. You have every right to be angry. So sorry you have to be exposed to their ignorance. As my parents would always say, “But for the grace of God, go I.” Standing in judgement of someone else is wrong – on every level.

  18. Yes shailaja, I agree with every bit you have said…It wonder too.. I seldom feel 100% in the real world and now the virtual world is no better. The vulnerability is immense…There was a time during my initial days of blogging intried keeping my identity hidden because of similar things.. I did get affected , to the extent i even removed my name from blogs and social media handles.. But now slowly i am relaxing down a bit..Do understand how you must be feeling about it, but do be on facbook cause genuine people( well like me 😉) would love to connect with you.

    1. I hope I can come back, Ramya. For now, I am just too shaken to consider the possibility. If I do, it means a major clean up and overhaul of all my information on the site and one that I am not looking forward to doing. Thank you for saying that and I truly appreciate the ones who have commented here today. It means a lot.

  19. Just a friendly suggestion, Shailaja. You are a good soul with no ulterior motives and you genuinely want to help others. But not everyone is like you. Accept it. Do not engage with people over inbox. Men or women. Trust me our own tribe is more damaging than the opposite sex. Also, why do you have to deactivate your account? When I went through that episode I could have easily deactivated my account and stayed mum, but I wondered why should I quit. I preferred to stay put and fight. All said and done, internet is getting murkier day by day. Especially social media. We must do everything to keep ourselves and our children safe. But never quit. We are stronger than we think we are.
    Rekha recently penned this post Why I Wake Up EarlyMy Profile

    1. I know what you mean, Rekha. For now,deactivation is helping me breathe. Believe it or not, I don’t have to worry about which photos of mine can be seen by strangers. It’s come to the point of me regretting ever speaking up about depression. Who knows what harm I may have done towards me/ my family? I will continue to speak up. I just have to find the ways to do it without putting myself in the eye of a storm.

      Thank you so much for the support. I know what you’ve been through and it cannot have been easy. I admire you for your grit and determination more than you know.

  20. Sigh Shailaja. I feel so upset to think of you going through this. As I mentioned to you, I’ve not experienced this to this intensity, but if I were to look closely, I have definitely stopped myself from sharing many things close to my heart, because I didn’t have the energy to deal with trolls and cranks. I’ve always hated trolls, but these kind of people(if you can even call them that) who would reach out for an ostensibly genuine reason and then reveal their true intentions, are the scum of the lowest level.
    I hope to see you back soon on FB though, as I believe that the good that you do absolutely outweighs garbage like this, but only when you are comfortable with it.

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