I should have known better; and in fact, my first instinct, I am grateful to say, was who would want to say nasty things about me? But then that little voice (and my creativity) kicked in and I came up with all sorts of answers. So, of course, I went to look at the supposed site where these statements were coming from….
And guess what? I got scammed. The response from my Twitter friends was very supportive. Although they were sent a similar mass email from my account, they all reassured me that it happens all the time on Twitter. It is sad, but true, our world is filled with people who use the most obnoxious means to inject themselves into our lives.
But, while these people might be obnoxious, they are also very clever; because they have used the psychological phrase most likely to get click-throughs…. Even by people who know better. The idea that people could be saying mean things about us hits on many different levels. At the top layer, is the obvious desire to be liked… to be held in high esteem by others. But even more fundamental, this idea threatens our need for belonging (if friends believe these thing they won’t be our friend anymore) and on an even deeper level threatens our need for personal safety (if my readers believe this they won’t want to buy my books anymore).
It is a solid offense designed specifically to get our instant reaction. Now, if a salesperson used it on us, we might, at first, react as they wanted… check out the car or the house or the time-share they are selling; but I imagine once we knew it was only a ploy, our response to that person would be swift and negative and they would not get our business.
Ah… but here is where the internet is so useful… because, I have no idea where this phishing scam originated, nor how to stop it. Twitter, the company, knows it exists, but they are unable to catch-up with the perpetrators. And there is no one to confront and call foul!
So, we change our password, we apologize to those affected, and
we go back to business as usual, thinking all the while, but what if…. Part of
my psyche now holds the idea that floating out there is someone who wishes me
harm; whether in the form of nasty statements or access to my twitter list.
The good news, though, is that either way the damage is offset by
the community of supporters who reaffirm those needs that were threatened. They
reassure us that although nasty stuff happens, we need not feel