MTV’s Disconnected Premieres Tonight
I’m not an MTV fan, but I do think you should watch this show if you can. (I can’t watch it live, since I don’t have MTV, but I’ll watch it online somehow.) It’s one of the very few things MTV is doing right. I am a Jac Vanek fan, and I do believe this is the best thing she’s ever posted online…
Tonight is the night!! DISCONNECTED is airing on MTV at 9 pm. Stay tuned at the end of the movie or like the A THIN LINE Facebook page to find out how you can get a free dogtag or bracelet!
Digital bullying and harassment is a serious issue, and one that is VERY common, especially in today’s youth. I, like many of you, have been the target of digital harassment before. And trust me, it got prettttttty bad.
I first started blogging when I was 15 years old, after I went to my first concert. I created a Livejournal, and I would write about my experiences at shows, going to see music I loved, and getting to meet the bands I adored. This last aspect really started to create some heat on the online community. I started to gather a hefty online following in the next year or so, and with the admirers came the haters. I would start getting offensive comments on my posts; I was called a groupie, a drug addict, a whore, that I was ugly and fat and had meth-face (how can a 16 year old have meth-face? Really?). The most hilarious comment I ever received was from someone who was convinced that I never learned how to read or write (this was during the same time that I was getting a 4.4 in highschool and writing my college entrance essay to UCLA).
I have received threats from people saying they were going to beat me up (and even kill me) at shows. I have received threats from people saying they were going to post my nudes and my sex tapes online (which don’t even exist). According to the internet, by the time I was 18, I had slept with every single dude in every single band in the entire world, I had every STD under the sun, and had been pregnant and had numerous abortions (while, in real life, I was still a virgin). My phone number has been leaked online a number of times, and with that came harassment on a whole different level. Some of these rumors got so out of control that it did start to affect my relationships with my friends in real life. The music “scene” that I grew up in was really tight knit, almost like a “highschool” vibe in itself. Everyone knew everything about everyone, even if you had never met yet. So when I would meet new people, I could only imagine what they already heard about me through the internet. And this was scary.
During the first few months of this hate, I thought the best thing to do was to write back and stand up for myself. I have always been proud of who I am, so I started getting really defensive to these attacks on my personality. Now, though I always think that everyone should stand up for themselves when they are being wronged, doing this on the internet can get really sticky. Because these “haters” are hiding behind a screen, they can be as anonymous as they want. They have this invisible armor around them, so they basically think they’re invincible. They get off at making you feel bad about yourself, but they don’t even have the balls to EVER say a word to your face. Trust me. After years of digital harassment, I still have never had a single person approach me in real life.
So, it took a while, but I finally started to realize that responding to these hateful comments only fueled the fire, creating more controversy and more harassment and more negativity surrounding my name. It didn’t seem to help me explain myself at all. It only made things worse. Fight fire with fire, and everything will burn.
I wear my heart on my sleeve, I always say what I feel, so shutting up was something that was extremely hard for me. How was I supposed to prove myself to everyone, when all of these lies were being spread? But when you really think about it, your best weapon in this kind of situation is indifference. Nothing pisses off your enemies more than ignoring them does.
During this time, I really had to grow a thick skin. It took a lot to stop letting the negativity get to me. But I had to remind myself that these people were strangers. They didn’t know me. The only person who really knew what was in my heart was myself. And that’s really all that mattered. And that’s what I was going to listen to. This shift of understanding and letting go made all the difference.
I’m not saying that this stopped the harassment all together…to this day, people still talk shit about me online. That is just something that realistically will always happen, as long as I’m putting myself out there, wearing my heart on my sleeve. And I can’t control that. The only thing I can control is how it affects me. And to be honest, I just don’t care at all anymore. It’s so petty, so incredibly immature and juvenile, and honestly just straight up irrelevant to my life. It took a while to get to this mindset, but this indifference has become my savior.
Going through digital harassment taught me a lot about human character. I never understood why someone would waste all of their time talking shit on someone they hated, especially on something as wimpy as the internet. It just all seemed so pointless to me. And I finally learned that it didn’t make sense to me because I wasn’t that kind of person. I finally learned that there is just a certain breed of people who do that kind of stuff. Insecure, jealous, cowardly, unhappy little pricks. That’s it. And once you realize that, and realize how pathetic they really are, the power switches from them to you. And with that power, you control everything.
If you’re going through digital harassment and need advice, I’m here. Because you can rise above it without fighting back. I’ll be answering your questions on my FACEBOOK PAGE tonight!
P.S.- If you’d like to know more about Jac Vanek, you can click to her blog by clicking on her name, or visit the Jac Vanek webpage on Squidoo.