Posted in mental health, sexual assault, social media

social media, friendships, and me

i’ve had a hard time with social media in the past six months or so. there are people on facebook that i know only through the internet, from groups, games, associations with other people i know, etc. on twitter there are only a handful of my followers or followees that i actually know personally and i expect that given the type of social media that twitter is and expects to be.

i keep twitter organized into groups using yoono because it’s simple to use and lets me add people or delete them from groups easily. i used to use it for facebook but it’s not working so well on that end right now. on facebook proper i have everyone sorted into lists so that i don’t get inundated with hundreds of updates and i’ve completely turned off all emails because, let’s face it, facebook is just annoying with the notifications every time someone breaths.

here’s the thing about people on both services though: all they have to do is look at my feed and they’ll know something about me. i repost from rainn a LOT. i repost and post about kiva and lots of things about turtles and corgis and news and … well, you get the point. but i post a lot about rape, sexual assault, child abuse and how to get help. that is a topic that is important to me and it’s clear from what i say.

when the steubenville rape case hit the news i posted about it. not a lot but some. when the verdict came down and there was a news article about how the verdict ruined those poor children’s lives and the victim should be ashamed of herself and on and on, one of my “friends” posted the facebook thing that was going around onto my facebook page. not into her newsfeed but onto my personal page. the facebook thing said something about ‘like if you think the steubenville “victim” got what she deserved’ and ‘share if you think the steubenville “victim” ruined the accused lives forever’. the word victim was actually in quotation marks. this was someone who knows me well enough to know my history. she knows that i was physically and sexually abused as a child. she knows that i still struggle with that trauma and that i work on a daily basis to recover from the horror of it. and still, she posted that to me. and she didn’t mean it sarcastically because i asked her. so i blocked her. on facebook and on twitter because how can i be friends with someone who would do something like that to me. knowing what she knows? the answer is that i can’t if i want to be able to honestly say that i’m taking care of myself. it made me furious that she posted it and it made me sad to end the friendship but i have to come first.

on twitter today i had to block someone that i liked a lot. i don’t know that person at all mind you. given the proliferation of pictures that aren’t the person (hell, i’m a turtle everywhere on the internet and i guarantee you that i’m not a turtle in real life. maybe.) i don’t even know if that person is a boy or a girl. but s/he posts a lot of links. and i’ve always trusted those links because they were funny or insightful or interesting. today s/he posted a link twice. the link was to a tumblr that posts cartoon pictures of animals and children having very graphic sex. no notice that the link was nsfw. no notice that it was graphic. nothing. now i’m not saying that people are required to put warnings on their links, i think most people do that as a courtesy. but i am entitled not to see something that graphic and unsettling and shocking and just plain disgusting. and it’s up to me to control what i click. and it’s up to me to control who i follow. i almost tweeted a response, something like “you couldn’t tag that as nsfw or graphic or something?” but it’s not up to me to patrol someone else’s twitter account. it’s up to me to patrol my own. and when someone else’s account becomes unsafe for me, it’s up to me to not follow that person.

i have to be careful when i’m on social media sites. i don’t know these people for the most part. sometimes i trust people on the basis of what they post or what i think they’re like and that’s interesting because in real life i would never trust someone based on what they were listening to or reading. i have to do a better job of controlling who i’m in contact with via social media. and i have to give myself a break when i decide that i can’t follow someone or be friends with someone any longer. my name on their friend list or follower list is not going to make or break anyone’s day and i shouldn’t let my decision to remove them from my lists make or break mine.