Kids, in 2018, as I further embraced my cosplaying, travel-loving, Comic Con-going, geek chick self, the ugly side of pursuing these passions revealed itself – in the form of several social media stalkers.
I’d heard about men taking things a step too far when randomly texting a woman with similar comic book and movie interests and experienced it only once years before but in the Spring of 2018, my personal experience with it intensified.
The Big Apple stranger danger:
Enter iger @pacman52280 aka George Waldman whose account was set to private and only had 128 followers. George, whom I had never, ever spoken to and certainly had no interest in doing so either, took to leaving the following comments on my posts:
On their own, sure, the comments seems innocent enough but the fact that this man had taken the time to immerse himself in my feed, go through what in particular interested me, scrutinized my passions and kept commenting when I was clearly not responding to him, freaked me out.
The fact that he had a private account, was a stranger and was insisting on meeting me, a solo female traveller in a foreign city, also set too many alarm bells ringing.
I’d dealt with thirsty men before but this was just on another level and I did not appreciate it.
I blocked George swiftly but I hated the fact that I now had to censor myself when posting about the things I loved doing, simply because a man could not get a f**ing hint and stop harassing me… and this in the era of #MeToo.
It was the first time in all of my solo travelling adventures that I felt unsafe and it was utterly unnecessary.
Know where the f***ing line is, men, and toe it. It’s not that goddamn difficult!
The Twitter dirty bird:
Same year, different social media doos… a random Tuesday on Twitter elicited the following inappropriate DM:
Again, I had never spoken to this person before,and had not engaged in any behaviour or communication that would invite this kind of message.
A look at his Twitter profile revealed the following:
So, no, it wasn’t just me… this person was a certfied f***ing creep!
I reported him to Twitter immediately.
Social media is great for broadening your horizons but you also need to stay vigilant and be safe, Kids. While I would still be sharing posts about the cool and wonderful things and events I attended, these episodes definitely made me be more careful about it.