Social media makes it easy to stalk and harass someone else

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2018 | blog |

Social media platforms, like Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook, make it easy for you to stay in contact with the people you like and admire. These unique programs let information travel almost instantly. They also make it harder to move on from a failed relationship for some people. Seeing posts by someone you care about who doesn’t feel the same way can make you feel depressed or angry. You may want to reach out to that person. Doing that is very often a mistake.

Social media is unforgiving. You may make a quick comment in an emotional moment, only to garner attention from others. Deleting a post won’t make it go away, since others can take screenshots. What was meant to be a joke about your ex’s boat sinking on that incredible vacation could end up sounding like a threat. You may not even realize that what you’re doing is a form of stalking and harassment.

Digital connections can be dangerous after a relationship

Even if you both agreed to stay friends after a break-up, staying friends on social media can be complex. Your best option may be to hide posts from your ex or unfollow posts. That way, you remain connected without your feed flooding with images from your ex. Staying connected online means seeing all the jokes, pictures and other posts from someone you still care about. That can mean regular reminders of the break-up and all of your feelings.

If your ex talks about your relationship or break-up online, that isn’t an invitation for you to get involved in the conversation. In fact, it’s usually the opposite. He or she is likely seeking support from a broad social network to process the end of your relationship. No matter how valid or witty your comment may be, you should keep it to yourself unless your ex directly reaches out to you or tags you.

Anything you say online can get used against you

You may think there’s nothing wrong with making an occasional comment on an ex’s posts, and most of the time, you’re right. If what you comment or post is accusatory, threatening, angry or possessive, however, those words or memes could come back to haunt you. Your ex could document every time you interact with him or her online and use that as proof of stalking or harassment.

Not only could that result in a protective order that mandates you stop all contact, it could result in criminal charges as well. Stalking often carries felony charges that can result in a felony. Under Texas law, harassment usually results in misdemeanor charges, which can carry up to six months in jail and a fine of as much as $2,000 for a first offense. The best option is to let go and move on to someone who wants you in his or her life, instead of focusing on the past.