Dark Internet Fairy Tales: The Big, Bad Wolves of Social Media

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I want to share a true story of a really true friend of mine Manessah B.

She says :

There are many great and wonderful people online and, unfortunately, there are monsters too. I’m learning to embrace every experience and try to find the good out of every situation, even the painful ones. This experience taught me that I should be more careful with my heart, especially online, but at the same time it taught me that my heart was not completely closed like I thought.

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Once upon a time…

A young woman ventured into cyber woods and found shelter on WordPress.  In her possession was a basket filled with poetry and prose ready to be shared with the world.  She eagerly placed all of her poems and thoughts on the window sill of her blog like freshly baked pies and waited for the scent to attract the attention of other digital forest dwellers.

The young woman smiled with glee, as people came to sample her words, but in the midst of her happiness tragedy struck. Just days after starting her blog, she received news that a man she cared deeply for had passed away.  The poor woman was already recovering from two major surgeries and coping with her second close encounter with death.  Now, she had to deal with the loss of someone dear to her heart. Devastated and overwhelmed with pain, the young woman wrote her heart out and placed her feelings of grief on the window sill of her blog, not thinking about the scent of vulnerability and naivety that was pervading the pixelated air.

Exactly a week after airing her words of sorrow, a mysterious man came knocking upon her blog door.  Cloaked in anonymity, he sung praises of the young woman’s poetry and prose, even shared her words with the people of his village.  Humbled by his kind words and gestures, the young woman extended her thanks to the mysterious man, but did not let him enter through the door.

She was about to turn away, until the mysterious man mentioned that he, too, had lost someone he loved. Softened by empathy, the young woman opened her door and was greeted with eyes like kyanite. The mysterious man then told her a story of how he had lost his wife to cancer and how he had been a widow for ten years.  Even after her death, he still remained devoted to her and never had success moving on.  Upon the window sill of his blog, the young woman found poems speaking of his dead wife and she felt great sorrow for him.  The two connected on their shared grief and eventually became blog friends.  A few weeks into their newborn friendship, the mysterious man quickly professed that he was in love with the young woman and tried to convince her that he was Prince Charming.  On the window sill of his blog, he left the most beautiful poetry for her and she was then gifted the title of Muse.  Though she was flattered, the young woman expressed to the mysterious man that she could not reciprocate his feelings because she did not feel that it was love.  After all, they did not know each other and it was far too soon to develop such feelings.  However, the mysterious man persisted in his pursuit of the young woman and insisted that it was indeed love that brought them together.  After months of wooing the young woman, the mysterious man finally broke her down and convinced her that it was love.

Normally, this would be the part where I would say, “And they lived happily ever after”, but I’m afraid this fairy tale has a dark and bitter ending.

 

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You see, there was no magic castle or kingdom, nor was there ever a prince. In the midst of their fairy tale love, Prince Charming’s spell over the young, naive woman began wearing off and her eyes suddenly saw the tail under his cloak.

With his love bombing losing its effect on her, the young woman discovered that Prince Charming was a vicious wolf and she was his prey. The identity he gave her was completely made up and the tragic story of losing his wife to cancer was all a fabricated tale.  The poems he had written about her death were all part of the act and the promises he made of marriage and a life together were now shards of broken dreams, because he was already married. What made it worse was finding out that she was not his first victim.  Sadly, there were others. When the young woman discovered she had fallen for a wolf, she ran away from him and hid. She was devastated, humiliated and felt dirty.  The young woman questioned what did she do so wrong to deserve such ruthless treatment? ’Til this day, she still asks herself that question.  How do I know this?

Because I’m the young woman.

 

Life teaches us that we are not always prepared for every situation. Even the most levelheaded and cynical people will have moments when they are vulnerable, naive and not that quick to perceive danger when in the presence of it. The harsh reality is some men and women are really great actors and preying on the inexperienced and unaware, for them, is simply a game. Using cancer, death and even abuse are not off limits for some people when it comes to the backstories they create to earn the trust and empathy of their victims. I share my story with you in hopes that it can help you avoid the pitfall I had two years ago.

 


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PASSING WHAT I HAVE LEARNED ON TO YOU

  • Just like a shark can smell blood, vulnerability can draw in the attention of social media wolves.  When bearing your soul in your posts, be aware that predators are always watching and any sign of pain and emotional weakness can be used to get close to you.
  • Be wary if someone you just met is suddenly love bombing you and pressuring you to have a romantic relationship with them. Rushed romance can sometimes be used as a tool of manipulation.  If things are moving too fast for you, don’t be afraid to slow things down and tell the person you don’t feel the same way. If they persist, stand your ground and get firmer. When they see they are not getting anywhere with you, they’ll catch the hint and move along.
  • Ask questions and, sometimes, ask the same question in a different way. By doing this, you open the door to finding any inconsistencies that may be lurking in a predator’s stories.

I hope that you never experience a dark internet fairy tale and I pray you never encounter the big, bad wolves of social media.  However, if you do, I hope that my story and the lessons I have learned can serve as a guide on how to protect yourself while living in these cyber woods. Be safe and, whatever you do, don’t let any wolf steal your happily ever after.

https://couchtalkwisdom.wordpress.com/2019/04/19/dark-internet-fairy-tales-the-big-bad-wolves-of-social-media/

 

 

 

 

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28 comments on “Dark Internet Fairy Tales: The Big, Bad Wolves of Social Media

  1. So sad, Efi, for you are a warm and generous woman and I wouldn’t want you ever to change your nature. Life deals some harsh blows at times so it’s good to hang on to what we can from the positive and happy things. Sending hugs 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Καλημέρα Έφη μου!
    Δυστυχώς το “Σκοτεινό Διαδίκτυο” έχει πολλά θύματα στη …σκιά του!
    Και μάλιστα μικρά παιδιά που δεν αναγνωρίζουνε τον κίνδυνο…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Καλημέρα Μαρίνα!!

      Στο πλαίσιο του αγώνα που δίνει καθημερινά η Δίωξη Ηλεκτρονικού Εγκλήματος για να αφυπνίσει μικρούς και μεγάλους για τους κινδύνους που ελλοχεύουν στο διαδίκτυο, δημοσίευσε πρόσφατα ένα συγκλονιστικό βίντεο που όλοι οι γονείς πρέπει να δουν για να προστατεύσουν τα παιδιά τους από επαφές με αγνώστους.

      Σκοπός του βίντεο είναι να καταλάβουν τόσο οι μεγάλοι, όσο και οι μικροί που περνούν πλέον αμέτρητες ώρες μπροστά σε μία οθόνη και έρχονται σε επαφή μέσω κοινωνικών δικτύων με άτομα που μπορεί και να μη γνωρίζουν ότι… στο διαδίκτυο το κακό μπορεί να έχει και αγγελικό πρόσωπο.

      Αν είστε γονείς επιβάλλεται να δείτε το παρακάτω βίντεο:

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Ναι έτσι είναι Έφη μου…
    Το fb και τα “ξαδελφάκια” του, είναι το έφορο έδαφος όπου μαζί με λουλούδια βγαίνουν και αγριόχορτα που πνίγουν την ομορφιά! 😉
    Δεν έχω fb κλπ και αυτό καθαρά από διαίσθηση, έτσι μετά από δέκα χρόνια ενεργό blogging δεν αντιμετώπισα ακόμα την διαδικτυακή διαφθορά (μέχρι αυτή τη στιγμή που σου γράφω), αυτό δεν θα πει όμως πως στη ζωή δεν αντιμετώπισα την κακία, τον φθόνο, τον δόλο και το ψέμα…
    Τραγική η μαρτυρία της φίλης, αλλά χρήσιμη σε όσους σερφάρουν στο διαδίκτυο… και μπράβο σου που την αναδημοσίευσες! 🙂

    ΑΦιλάκια και καλή φωτεινή Μεγάλη βδομάδα να έχουμε! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kαλημέρα Στεφανία καλή Μ. Εβδομάδα !!

      Δεν το έπαθε στο ΦΒ αλλά στο ιστολόγιό της στο wordpress!!

      Kαμιά φορά λέμε να είμαστε “ανοικτοί” και να ανοίγουμε τις καρδιές μας … αλλά τελικά όπως και στη ζωή εκεί ελοχεύει ο κίνδυνος.. που ανοίγεσαι .. σε ποιον μιλάς… τι λες …

      Δεν είναι όλοι οι άνθρωποι ίδιοι.. και όταν μεγάλοι άνθρωποι την παθαίνουν… φαντάσου τα παιδιά που είναι απονήρευτα….

      Σε φιλώ και θα τα ξαναπούμε μέχρι το Πάσχα!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my…unfortunately these bad wolves exist also in this social word 😞 I’m sorry for her and at the same time I’m glad that she chose to share with the others. This is a good reminder for a lot here I think 💕

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Internet allows us the freedom to represent ourselves in a way we wish people would see us or the way we wish we could actually be.

      Manessah has the power to share with us the truth of her story!!

      There are so many girls like Manessah out there, but not only girls .. i have read so many about men… children… the world is not angelic…

      Like

  5. This post,its tale, the message and the advice at the end has been so beneficial to read for me, I have learnt a lot, thank you very much for sharing all this with us so we may be people of wisdom and live better lives. – Cezane

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Most interesting story of some new, modern problems with blogging and use of modern technology. Yes indeed, today we are in greater danger when we expose our works, toughs and emotions to the world of complete strangers, which can in some cases have a negative impact on us, and the virtual world that we live in…

    Liked by 1 person

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