When I first created a social media profile back in 2015 (on Twitter, which also happens to be my favorite and the one I’m the most active on), I did so with a wide-eyed view of what social media really was. And yes, it really was my first social media account – before I started writing, I simply wasn’t interested in being social online. I mean, I had plenty of friends in real life, and I didn’t need the internet to date someone. I just didn’t see the appeal.
Basically, I avoided social media because there were other, more important things to do with my time. With my career. I was simply too busy making things happen to kick back and spend the day posting about what I was doing. The way I figured it, I could either be active on social media and reduce my productivity in half or skip social media entirely and be a productive beast.
I chose the latter. And I reaped the rewards.
Because of that, I had the option of becoming a full-time writer, and the paradigm shifted a bit. I wanted a way to have conversations with my (potential) readers, a way to be accessible to them. I never wanted to be the kind of person who let any sort of success go to my head; I wanted to be, you know, social. I figured if someone is going to spend some of their hard-earned money on something I created, the least I could do was banter with them for a bit. Just to let them know that I appreciate their patronage, and to see what they think about whatever it was they bought. You know, talk about the good and the bad. Be real. Share things. Teach things. More importantly, learn things.
So I created social media accounts for all the major platforms and began reaching out. I even created a Patreon, a place where I could sort of go creatively wild and cut loose a bit in a way I would never do on regular social media. So much fun.
I never expected the Fuckboi Army. The perverts. The men who probably have never in their life touched a (willing or conscious) female body. See, in the beginning, I used to be so much more social, so much more trusting with my personal information. I learned my lesson.
There was this guy. We’ll call him Steve. Through time, we became friends (I thought), and he convinced me to give him my home address so he could send me a birthday gift. He lived in another state, so I figured why not—no big deal.
Boy, was I wrong.
He started demanding more and more of my time (as guys always seem to do 🙄), and eventually, I just had to give him a reality check. I told him I’m a writer. I write. That’s the only reason I even have an online presence. He got mad, threw a tantrum, and said some terrifying things. So I blocked him. I was shook, I admit, but nowhere near as shook as I was when he showed up at my doorstep unannounced. There was never anything romantic between us (I mean, come on), and if my big brother didn’t happen to be home at the time (he took the day off to hang with me), I don’t know what would have happened. Steve scurried, and rightly so, as my brother is fucking ginormous and in excellent shape. Steve was neither.
Not long after, our windows started getting broken. My brother’s tires were flattened. I was terrified to leave the house because I was paranoid that he was watching, waiting, stalking.
You know what they say about paranoia: sometimes, you’re right.
I ended up getting a restraining order against him, which he violated when he tried to corner me at the bus stop. If it wasn’t for some friendly strangers there… to make a long story short: he went to jail, we moved, and I haven’t heard from him since.
This is why I don’t give out my real address to people. Or phone number. Or anything else. I don’t trust them. I can’t. There’s only one of me, and I like my life.
I learned my lesson well that day. I never give out my real phone number (I have several eNumbers I use instead), address (even my newsletter points to a library in Corpus Christi), or anything else to random motherfuckers online.
You shouldn’t either.
While there are a ton of genuinely good people out there, there are also some scary, unstable motherfuckers that are desperate for attention. People that, if you give them even a little of your free time, will completely misread the kindness as something much more involved and intimate.
Which is fucking insane.
It’s just not worth it. I know enough people in real life to risk something like that again. You do too. Just please remember when you’re online that you never know who you’re really talking to, or what their real motivations might be. Be safe. Be cautious. And have fun. Because the internet can definitely be a fun place – as long as you’re protecting yourself. Kind of like, you know, other things… 😏
“It’s intoxicating for a man to be waited on. Combine this with very, very skillful sex, and that will get them.”
– Doris Lilly
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that earn me a small commission, at no additional cost to you. This is because I’m a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.