This a personal account in which the names have been altered. Lisa is a young teenage girl. Not a grown man seeking a relationship. Not a catfish. Lisa is a cyberstalker.
“Hi, my name is Lisa and I really love your page. I would really love to be your friend,” the Instagram direct message read.
Joy thought this message was harmless, after all she has been on social media since 2009 and she has made some of her greatest friendships with the power of Twitter and Instagram. However, Joy had no idea what she was getting herself into by responding to that message.
Joy messaged Lisa back and thanked her, why would she reject such a sweet message? At first Lisa was sweet. They weren’t really friends. She would just message Joy and Joy would message her back several hours later due to her responsibilities getting in the way. As their messages progressed, Lisa kept making Joy feel more and more uncomfortable. She asked her personal questions, how old she was and where she lived. However, she took it too far when she started talking about wanting to meet Joy and wanting to hang out with her. They haven’t even been messaging for a month and she wanted to meet Joy already? That made Joy feel uneasy. Joy simply ignored her message. Even though Joy ignored her message she kept sending me more and more messages and spamming Joy with likes on Instagram. That creeped Joy out even more which caused her to further ignore Lisa. It didn’t process through Lisa’s head that Joy didn’t want to talk to her so it left Joy with no other choice but to block her. Little did Joy know how big of a mistake that was.
A few hours after blocking her, Joy received a direct message from several accounts asking Joy to unblock Lisa because she is crying over the fact that Joy blocked her. Joy was not heartless but she simply did not care. She made Joy feel uncomfortable, Joy had every right to block her. Joy had every right to have felt the way she did. The direct messages weren’t the worst of them all. Once the annoying direct messages stopped, Joy began getting followers with similar bios to Lisa’s. She created several accounts and tried to follow Joy and create a friendship with her on all of them. Joy has had to block at least 20 Instagram accounts in the last six months, they were all created by Lisa.
Instagram was not her limit. She found Joy on Twitter, however she was unaware that Lisa followed her there until she received a strange message on her Curious Cat account. Fortunately she was able to pinpoint which account was Lisa’s and blocked her. Once again, that was a mistake. Within twenty minutes, Joy’s Twitter mentions were spammed by a new account with an anonymous user account. In the span of five minutes, she had over 20 new notifications on Twitter, all from that account. It was evident that it was Lisa. At first they were showering her with compliments, but after Joy blocked them, the tweets became vicious. This forced Joy to put her account on private. After putting her account on private, she received at least 15 follower requests from accounts with similar icons and bios. Lisa made a fake account of one of Joy’s closest friends. She knew that her friend liked Twenty One Pilots. Lisa had no limits.
Lisa continues to have no limits. Each day she comes up with a new tactic to harass Joy. Whether it’s trying to break into her account or sending phony emails to Joy.
Cyberstalking is real. Cyberstalking should not be taken lightly. It makes you feel trapped. People use social media to express their thoughts. They use it to try to make a difference in this world. However, when one comes across a Lisa, social media becomes a scary place. You are suspicious of every new person you come across. You are distant with everyone, and it’s all because you fear Lisa.
You are NOT entitled to be anyone’s friend. If they make you feel uncomfortable in any sort of way, you have every right to block them with no explanation. Your safety is important. Your comfort is important. If you are a victim of cyberstalking, my best advice for you would be to put ALL of your accounts on private and take all of your pictures down.