Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Stalking: How Technology Plays a Role

I've recently added a link to the Stalking Resource Center. (See it on the right hand side of the screen or press on the highlighted words previously).

I've found that stalking is often overlooked in academic settings, media, and everyday discussions, but that in fact, it is prevalent and needs to be discussed.

Here I'm going to focus on the impact technology, and especially social networking sites, plays in stalking. On a frequent basis I hear, "I'm stalking so and so on ____ (facebook, twitter, etc)." This has become a normal phrase that is widely accepted and is often treated as a joke. The concern, however, is that without proper privacy settings, social networking sites, use of cellphones (esp now with such hightech applications), and other technology forms has in fact created a more stalker-friendly environment. Just think about the various forms of technology we all use on a daily basis. Email, instant messaging, social networking sites, cell phones, GPS, web cams, etc.

Additionally, when stalking via social networking sites is identified and reported, these social networking sites are often failing to support the victims properly.

Once again, women are most often victimized in cases of stalking (4 out of 5 victims are women).  And, of stalking victims, 1 in 13 report some form of internet stalking involvement. 

Notice, we're not talking about cyberstalking, but rather it is important to identify that stalking via technology takes many forms.  Use of the term cyberstalking is quite limiting and likely brings images of internet-only stalking to mind. Use of the term stalking via technology (or the like) is more comprehensive and gives a space for women who have been victimized via cameras, GPS, etc. to feel heard and comfortable.

I really encourage everyone to check out the Stalking Resource Center. Here is the link again.

No comments:

Post a Comment