Borderline Voyeurism…

The joys of being hacked. I’m serious, there are a few.

 

Once upon a time,

a very misanthropic writer was told by an agent to create a social media following. She was horrified and took some time to process that there were now to be additional visuals to accompany her wordy ways that were already on her blog. She knew she was a bit of an oddball when it came to being publicly visible and as much as she was her own selfie queen, having an open window to everyone was nothing short of daunting. Still, she took it with good stride and began to enjoy it. Until one day, she found that her work was disappearing. Her first instinct was to sprint back into her cave of solitude and just sulk in a pile of glitter because that was comforting. (and pretty) As tempting as that idea was, she knew that being a coward really wasn’t what she was made of. Never liking to give up she started again, better and judiciously.

Sooooooo not the end.

 

Shoving aside the good attitude about turning angst into optimism for a sec, let’s just talk about the gross violation of privacy. Now I know how my mum must have felt when I found her Kamasutra book at the age of twelve. Let’s just say that I totally stopped playing with dolls and all innocence forgotten because I had this ancient relic that would make an adult actress blush. Seriously though, I’ve had a stalker or two and I know about how personal freedom can be infringed upon in the rudest manner. Yeeees, I’ve had stalkers. I fully comprehend that this is out of the ordinary and trying to figure out why is what I’ve replaced counting sheep with at night. I’ve had someone follow me around in a car, slowly walk behind me in shopping centres and watch me with binoculars. It was like a bad eighties mini-drama. Sigh…At least my hair was on point.

 

Some time ago, my social media account was hacked and the things that I had written mysteriously disappeared. I felt awful because I had really worked hard on providing content that took a lot of time, planning and effort. I had given my viewers a glimpse into some of the things that helped me empower other women and as a result I was expanding my own mindset. What kind of person would want to stop someone else from growing? To take away words and images that were so meaningful to me left me a little devastated. I mean, these weren’t selfies. They were functions that I had attended with ministers in the city, events that empowered women and many companies that I supported because of their ethics. What kind of nut job would want to take that away from a woman wanting other women to have their voices heard? Also, the loss of momentum was not a lovely feeling because it was hard enough to get on social media in the first place. It’s toilsome to put yourself out there, hands wide open waiting for comments on your pics like a drive-by shooting.

 

 

 

 

It’s one thing to camp outside my house with crappy coffee, not so secretly pass by in your not so secret car to see if I’m home and prank call me from very traceable phone booths, but interfere with my work? I’m like one of those meme porcupines that look all fluffy and happy when I’m loved, but mess with my craft and I’ll flip over and start hurling out quills. Not cool.

When I have caught the people that have had a disregard for the privacy of others, what I’ve noticed is that they walk around with a false sense of humanitarianism, tossing out sentences that usually begin with: I’m a good person or I’m a sweet soul. They’re usually the ones that post moral and utterly snooze worthy quotes on social media, finding comfort in hiding behind their screens, casting hate and not showing pics. If you’re a good person, you certainly don’t need to announce that you’re so wonderful. It reminds me of what my mother and most etiquette books used to tell me about being a gentleman (not trying to be gender specific here, just quoting the original sentiment) Basically, if you were one you wouldn’t have to announce it. Psychopaths on the other hand, gawd that’s a whole other blog. Meanwhile, under the façade of being an altruistic person, these people are socially challenged individuals that think that there is nothing wrong with intruding in a person’s life. However, that’s not my problem, it’s theirs and yes, it’s really you, not me.

 

 

Here are some ways that I spun what was an assault on my personal life into something positive:

 

Joy 1. I’ve pleasantly discovered that I’m like CSI Toronto. You know that I know that you know. Nuff said. This is an age where it’s possible to pin down an IP address because yes, social media does record that and with a price you can find out who’s being so depraved. So fun.

Joy 2. Starting over isn’t as unnerving as I thought. People are very kind and empathetic because they’ve gone through it or something similar.

Joy 3. Good friends get together with wine, forming conspiracy theories and as a result this leads to other activities such as shopping and dancing. Before you know it, you’re out on the town in a sexy outfit laughing about some wanker trying to crack your new passwords.

Joy 4. You see the strength of your own fabric. Stressful times test what you’re made of and if you went from rayon to couture silk, then you’re dripping in gold threads baby. (This is possibly the cheesiest, inspirational thing I’ve ever written)

Joy 5. You’ve arrived. The road to success will throw so many obstacles your way. There will be people that don’t want to see you do well and all kinds of odd behavior. This just means that you’ve got a lil’ something that’s very wonderful and hey, some things just can’t be replicated no matter how hard others try. Not everyone gets to be you and that is fabulous.

Joy 6. I’ve become more driven to work harder. The results, well they will show in time but I feel amazing knowing that I’m not giving up and that’s a success on its own, right?

 Joy 7. Develop Teflon. Mine is coming along nicely, I’ve stopped caring about what people are going to think. If I’m enjoying myself and not hurting anyone, I’m good.

 

 

The only thing I can say to anyone that has faced similar intrusions, is to speak up about it.  Shed some light on your situation and maybe some humour because when you keep quiet about any type of violation, the other person wins. Ask proper people the right questions. Everyone will have a barrel of advice but what I’ve found is that even the people that mean well are not always accurate. Find a proper authority and you’ll be surprised at the wealth of correct info out there that can help you. The common misconception is that there isn’t much you can do. There always is. It is unacceptable to intrude on the personal information or life of another individual and eventually you will get caught. The same technology that you use, will be what slaps some cuffs on your wrist if you don’t wise up. In an era where tech is advancing every nanosecond, it’s foolish to be smug.

Minelle Xoxo