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Real Life Issues - April 14, 2019

My Experience With Cyber Bullies

Have you ever been cyber bullied? Lets hear your story. But before I begin, lets define cyberbullying.L Cyber bullying, according to google, is the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.

I have been a victim of cyber bullies. I once culled a post on coprophilia and shared it on facebook . I wrote the source from where I lifted the story from, but I had no idea that my ‘village people’ (an expression used by Nigerians when speaking of enemies), were on duty that day. A mischievous person decided to screenshot the post and omitted the part where I had indicated that the story wasn’t originally mine. The story was told in first person narrative and before I could say okeke okafor, I was trending.

The horror! Trust Nigerian bloggers to give the gist a twist to draw traffic, some captions read “Nigerian lady narrates how she ate arab men’s poo for money in Dubai”. With my pictures flying all over the internet.

I almost died! Shame engulfed me. I was visibly shaking as I picked up my phone to call up the blogs sharing these  lies about me. I thought of my husband. What would his colleagues say? He was  going to be explaining himself to a thousand and one people. I thought to myself, my enemies have finally gotten me cheap. Tears were streaming down my eyes. I called a friend of mine who works for a TV station. He suggested that I put up a disclaimer ASAP.

I did.

Two days later, I was still trending. All these while, I was away from home. I thought about my children’s teachers. They must think the worst of me. Two days and I couldn’t get myself to eat. I had tightness in my chest. I just wanted to sleep. Just wish the pain away. My inbox was littered with questions. Girls who were willing to become a porta potty; girls who came to judge me,  girls who came to share their own sad experiences with me. “is that truly your story?” “eww, you are disgusting”,  “hey girl, please hook me up with the Arab guys”. I was scared to open my inbox.

What started as a joke, became my nightmare.

Four days later and I’m still calling bloggers to take down the stories as they were defamatory. They did. The crazy ones, I reported.

My consolation in all of this was that the people who truly mattered to me, like; my parents, my husband, my children, my siblings, in-laws and good friends, made light of the situation. Of course they knew it wasn’t my story. But the fear of “what would people say?” wouldn’t let me be great. I still cringe at the thought of that experience.

If I ever wished for fame before, I don’t want it any more.

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