We put ourselves out on the internet to market ourselves. We are blogging so that we can give a side of ourselves to the consumer and our peers so they are able to get to ‘know' the person behind the words. There will be many times that we cross paths with another that will leave a lasting impression regardless if they identify themselves or not.
I've been trying to figure out a diplomatic way to write about something that happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I think I have the frame of mind that is needed, so bear with me in telling my story.
Keep in mind that the problem is not the situation but the behavior of the individual behind it.
- I received a comment on a post I'd written back in January of this year that was derogatory and mean spirited. My post was meant to make a point that we all can spread our wings and fly and accomplish anything we want to.
- I answer the comment as politely as I could and the anonymous commenter came back a couple other times and the comments started attacking me so I eventually blocked all anonymous comments from my blog.
- I went back to my post and deleted all those comments and just left the ones from January.
- The anonymous commenter never came back to the post as a member but did say they were a real estate professional and ‘from' Hawaii.
- I received a ‘private' call and without getting into too much detail...I laughed it off and said ‘have a good night'!
- I received a letter at my office a few days later with my Real Estate MLS info copied and pasted and printed onto a sheet of paper along with a few rude statements and calling me "Cheesehead".
- I received a call asking for Duane Chapman (Dog the Bounty Hunter) and politely said they had the wrong number.
- And still the anonymity prevails through all.
I must be very interesting and important to go to those lengths to ‘harass' me.
Tips on handling the ANONYMOUS cyberstalker:
- Once there is an anonymous comment that is clearly out to bash you as the individual writing the topic rather than the topic of the post...DELETE the comment and move on.
- If it is a member of the ActiveRain Community (or whichever communty you're blogging on) then by all means contact the staff. They do not take too lightly with harassment of other members and will reprimand them or block them from the site.
- If it is an anonymous commenter than you can still flag the comment as a ‘concern'. If it is a member they can track the IP address to check on the commenter to see if it is an AR Member.
- Don't let the childish name calling and mean spirited comments personally. Wasted energy and nothing accomplished when someone is afraid to say these things face to face with you and hides behind the anonymous comments, phone calls and mail.
- If it becomes a clear stalking and threatening situation call the police and make a report. Sooner or later it all comes out in the wash because they don't remain anonymous forever when they clearly want to harass you.
- Do not retaliate as these types of situations show that the person is unstable to begin with and may have some mental problems that are definitely not ours to fix.
If someone has that much time on their hands and to go to these lengths to harass someone they clearly are not the professional we all hope to work on the other side of.