Did you know? All my social channels used to be private.
Up until two and a half years ago, I spent a lot of my professional life on television and on social media screens. My name and face were out there in the public eye, in representation of my employers. Some videos of me had a million views. So, I was super leery of being tracked down or contacted by creepers and stalkers. (Somehow, all efforts aside, a few still found me.) Protecting my privacy was really important to me.
Then, in fall of 2017, I made the decision to make my social channels public. This was a big departure from what I was comfortable with, but I saw the value. I was launching my website! I was telling my autobiography! I HAD to go public in order to share all that I learned and experienced after my layoff and epic backpacking trip to Europe. The perspective. The freedom. I had things to say, and I had to be visible to be heard, privacy be damned.
So, I put myself out there. Like it or not, stick around or unfollow, I was bold and vulnerable and myself.
Sure, skeezy guys come with the territory. And boy, do I field some messages. They go into my “other” folder, which I periodically check and usually ignore. But sometimes, I “bite” and play along.
And I caught a cheater. A married man, who had been following and messaging me on and off for over two years since I first unlocked my page. He tried to set up a date during a business trip, and I learned he was married through some simple social media investigative work. So guess what. I screenshot that and slid into his wife’s DMs.
[Screenshots 1-4 are in chronological order. The rest for reference.]
My FIRST point: I am team woman.
I am team woman. Man or woman, you should be too. Please, everybody, HAVE. HER. BACK. If you see a cheating attempt, do not keep it yourself. Wouldn’t you want the same? When I was younger, I dated a serial cheater for the better part of 7 years. I wish FERVENTLY that somebody had had MY back back then… but no! All his friends knew (some of them even encouraged it) and it wasn’t until years later I discovered the depth of his infidelity. It caused me to doubt my self-worth, which no woman should ever have to do. So I feel for the women out there who are being deceived and have no idea. She deserves to know if her husband is off on business trips looking for dates. Live long, female empowerment and #girlpower.
My SECOND point: Step off.
I AM NOT HERE FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT. I’m not fishing for dates on my Instagram channel, so don’t be trawlin’! I’m doing things I love, connecting with and (maybe) inspiring others — man or woman — to do the same.
My LAST point: Keep your eyes open
My career is in social media. I am an expert and I have a resumé and paycheck to prove it. I know how to connect the dots and I know what it means if the man who’s trying to take me out is also tagged in recent photos with a gorgeous gal, who’s wearing a beautiful ring, with a caption reading, “Happy one-year anniversary.” But LADIES: YOU don’t need to be social media experts. You don’t need to be a private investigator. There are usually other signs. Or feelings. You DO need to trust your gut and keep your eyes open.