The first e-mail (dated June 29) states that there will be mythological salt pits in my future if I contact the young woman again. The second (dated July1) makes an unflattering inference about either my size or some quality of mine. She asks me in the second e-mail to delete her and in the third (dated July 2) to remove her. I know she meant for me to close her e-mail box but the choice of words was amusing to me. I did as requested. I have no intention of contacting her again. As long as the young woman does not continue to threaten me with mythological salt pits in my future or other stuff, we are both free to carry on in the absence of the well-wishes of the other.
The above example falls short on the repeated part of threat inherent in the definitions of cyberbullying. Here are some things that do qualify as cyberbullying:
maintaining a website that is designed to harass someone or threaten them,
posts on a website or forum or journal or blog that tell someone to watch out because the poster or friends of the poster may show up at any time,
making up lies about someone and publishing them on the web (e.g. the teen who killed herself on account of some stuff that was posted about her on MySpace and the teen who killed himself after being harassed on Bebo more recently),
texting someone for the purpose of intimidation,
making repeated fun of someone with social difficulties brought on by Asperger's on internet forums,
provoking someone in an e-group into rages and then mocking the rages,
sending someone tons of spam or bogus e-mails,
repeated racial slurs used in a chatroom against another participant.
The thing about traumatic brain injury, as well as many other disabilities, is that we are more vulnerable whether we want to acknowledge that or not. We may be more vulnerable to cyberbullying because of errors in our judgment. We may be too quick to trust others on-line, too eager to expose personal information, too fast to offer up our struggles. We can participate in flame wars without understanding what we are getting into. We can become too casual about what we publish on our websites or blogs. We may wind up communicating via instant messenger with folks who do not wish us well. (In the early days after my brain injury, a woman began to call me every day. Mate was baffled by the sudden appearance of a new close friend in my life and did not understand the almost daily lengthy phone conversations. I didn't remember who this woman was or where I knew her from. Eventually, I discovered that the woman was the daughter-in-law of a friend who just liked to talk to people on the phone).
Below are a few websites referenced in this post and a bunch that aren't. I recommend the "Are you a cyberbully? Quiz," the cyberethics site for those who like academic stuff, the Donna Williams poem, and the "Shrink the Cyberbully Game" by virtue of their being different than the usual offerings.
The other stuff may help you decide what to do if you are being cyberbullied. Inclusion of the links do not imply the endorsement of any of the websites endorsing this post nor does it imply that I totally agree with every freaking thing said.
sapphoq healing t.b.i.