Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Social Media A Double-Edged Sword

Dear Tazi:

My ex-boyfriend is pure evil. I don't know what I ever saw in the guy - maybe his initial charm? Obviously, our break-up was not a pleasant one; nor was it mutual.

"Wesley" is the type of guy who expects the world to turn at his command. If there is something he needs that he cannot provide for himself, he expects others to provide it because he believes that is what makes someone a good friend. When I had a job opportunity that required a transfer to a different part of the country, I told Wesley I would appreciate his support in my plan to relocate, because I thought our relationship stood a good chance of developing into something more serious. Because Wesley liked the area (it is a metropolitan area in a warm climate), he encouraged me to take it and told me we could "do the long-distance thing" and he would follow in a few months. What I did not realize was that Wesley's plan to follow me did not include looking for work before his arrival. Rather, he planned on living with me until he could "land on his feet". I was not entirely happy with this plan, but I went along with it because I had no choice - he showed up unannounced.

After three months living with me rent free, Wesley still had not found a job; nor had he made a serious effort to find something - anything - that would pay some kind of wage. I realize that a McJob is not a career, but at least it pays the bills; Wesley, however, felt this type of work was beneath him and refused to even apply for entry-level work in or out of his career field. For this and other reasons, I told Wesley it would be best if we went our separate ways, and offered to pay for his plane ticket back home. This was not a request, but a break-up, and I made that clear to Wesley.

Once he returned to our home state, Wesley started asking for a second chance at "the long distance thing" since it was obvious that he was not ready to move. I refused, because in the three months that he was here I saw a side of Wesley that I did not like and, quite frankly, it killed my feelings for him. Wesley refused to take no for an answer and kept demanding an explanation until I finally told him my feelings for him had died. I thought this would be the end of things, but it has not.

Wesley has taken to complaining about me on his Facebook and Twitter pages, saying I have done him wrong and how unfair I am being to not give him a second chance. When he refused to stop, I blocked him so he would be unable to tag me in his posts; but my friends tell me that this just led to him using my name without a tag, and made his rants against me even worse. Wesley is the type of guy who cannot go to the bathroom without tweeting about it, so this should give you an idea of the amount of posting he is doing about me, our breakup, and the insulting things he is saying about me. I keep all of my social media pages private, so it does not appear in an Internet search, but Wesley keeps his public; so I am afraid of what is appearing.

I would like to know, is what Wesley is doing even legal? Do I have any recourse to force him to stop? I am afraid that the stuff he is posting is going to hurt my career.

Not "The Whore Of Babylon"

Dear Not "The Whore of Babylon":

You offer quite a history for such a quick question, and paint an unflattering picture of Wesley;,which leads me to believe the things Wesley is saying about you are not all that flattering, either. The question is, are they true? If the things Wesley are writing about you are in fact true, I am afraid you will simply have to grin and bear it, and accept the fact that he is being very immature. Let this be a lesson to you to:

1) Clean up your act, and behave in a way that does not provide fodder for malicious gossip

2) Stand up for yourself.

As uncomfortable as it would have been to turn Wesley away when he showed up on your doorstep, his behavior was disrespectful to you, and should have been a warning sign of what was to come. I suggest that, in the future, you make your lines more clearly drawn and refuse to allow them to be crossed.

If the things Wesley is writing about you are untrue you can report the items directly to the Customer Service Department of the social media site and they will see that the offending items are removed. If the things Wesley is writing about you are untrue and damaging your reputation in such a way as to cause damage to your standing at work or in your community, he has committed libel against you, a charge that can be addressed in civil court, but I must warn you; libel can be very, very difficult to prove. You may just want to let this one go and free yourself from Wesley's attentions all the sooner.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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