Text harassment is a form of Stalking
As text messaging has boomed in recent years, it has also given rise to so-called textual harassment. Since people are never far from their cell phones the messages can really antogonize the recipient. With all the blings and chirps we have assigned to new messages you know that it can be annoying.
You hear of people who can’t seem to shake off their ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. They get barraged by texts, emails and phone calls until they can’t stand it anymore and change their phone numbers, take down or hide their profiles on social networking sites and try to conceal their technological presence, only to be looked up on an online people finding service. Suddenly, their ex has found them and their cell number and is texting again on their brand new cell phone number.
People getting unwanted texts can be charged 10 or 20 cents for each text that goes over their cell plan limit and if they don’t have a text package it can get expensive. Even if you do have unlimited texting, the constant messaging is a form of harassment. Online profiles make it easy for stalkers to monitor their victims. You could be on a dating site and then get messages from your jeolous ex harassing you in real time by text msg for being on that dating site!
One defendent in New York was accused of sending six threatening messages to a woman during a 17 hour period threatening to put her into the hospital. In other cases, a person might recieve texts for a year or more ranging from scary to appeals to makeup. You have to make your own determination of what constitutes text message stalking that has crossed the line into psyco texting territory.
You know that rejection hurts so be humane about an ex who hangs on. It’s the person that was madly in love with you and got rejected by you that is likely to become the stalker. Love makes people do some crazy things, becoming text obsessed is one of them. If you ignore them long enough they will move on. But if the texts take a nasty tone and you have a nagging fear for your safety its a different story. Report unacceptable texts if the pattern makes you fear for your personal safety.
Crossing the line and becoming a stalker yourself
It is oh so easy to become an over zeolous texting addict. Particularly in romantic relationships, you can send 30-40 texts a day just flirting with a romantic partner. While this might be normal behavior, what happens with the texting where a nasty or hurtful or unwanted breakup happens? Now that its become a habit between two people, it is hard to unravel it all. Like any addiction from smoking to alchoholism to drugs to psyco texting, a bad habit is hard to break.
Let’s say you have fights and makeups with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Long winded text rants and apologies and flames and love messages would be pretty common in a rocky on-off relationship. When that relationship ends, the text habit and connection remains and it has to end to. When it doesn’t, harassment and stalking becomes a real concern.
Some stalkers are pure strangers in which case there really is no excuse for the stalking other than that they have some mental problem. But in many cases, the person being stalked is partly responsible for the stalking.
For example, if you have broken up a million times, then made up with your partner, then dumped them, they may be in disbelief. They might think, we always makeup, and continue to text message you trying to make up since it has worked for them before. It is like the boy who called wolf and they can’t believe their partner wants out.
In the case of scorned lovers, a lover could become very upset over an infidelity or cheating and sent loads of hate texts to the person who cheated on them. Without realizing it, the messages might sound pretty threatening if lifted off the cell phone and transcribed into a legal document (like a restraining order).
Remember that if you are being stalked you may be blowing hot and cold, making up and breaking up, and doing other behaviors that make it hard for your ex to believe its over. Be careful in how you treat an ex because yo-yo-ing them can actually encourage something like text stalking. Try not to waffle on relationship status and remain firm.
If you feel yourself starting to over text someone who repeatedly tells you to stop, then at a certain point you really do need to stop. Moving on is hard but the odds are that after a while you will feel bad about chasing after someone who is no longer interested in you and downright rejecting you.
As a simple rule, read the texts in your outbox and consider if there are too many and if they can be construed as harassment. If it’s borderline, you may be textually harassing someone. Time to quit texting. If your text interactions were transcribed into a document how would it appear to a person reading it? Would it appear you are stalking? Ask yourself this and if there is any inclination that you have crossed the line get help. Coming to this site should help you recognize the basics of the problem and get real therapy if you need it to quit texting. It’s an addiction and an obsessive behavior. The first step in treatment is recognizing you have a texting addiction.
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