Digital schizophrenia: blurred lines between virtual and reality

Women’s Aid Ireland have called for measures to be taken in relation to the issue of cyberstalking of women by exes. The problem I am sure is exacerbated by data retention. That is where the issue lies in relation to social media networking sites. Technology has a bionic element when you add a human mind to it. People are suffering in the aftermath of a break-up it is so tempting to ‘check-up’ on the person online. It can become a habit, a routine and a harmful one at that. There are blurred lines between the virtual and reality and I would question if there were such a thing as ‘digital schizophrenia’. If these cases end up in the courts will these be quashed by people admitting they were ‘intoxicated’ at the time, plead ‘alcoholic addiction’ and attend a few AA meetings?
Women are not being controlled solely online rather people generally are by data retention. If the information were made unavailable within a certain timeframe or if the information was made ‘instantaneous’ it would be better equipped to manage and address this issue head-on and resolve the issue to some degree. People have a certain responsibility who they allow into their online circles, this is more difficult in relation to certain sites. People are only part of the problem, the technology is there and there is also the concept of ‘free will’. There are data protection/data regulation/data retention rules underpinning many areas and why is it not the same for the internet?
We need to hammer out a code of what is acceptable, the rights and responsibilities of digital and internet citizens enforced by the justice system and stop denying that the issue exists or shrouding ourselves in digital secrecy, hiding behind a screen to vent our views and frustrations in our attempts to create digi-vigi-justice or digital vigilante justice. We have become dependent on technology and with that it is possible that we have become addicted also. Therefore, there may be underlying psychological issues and influences which we are unable to identify and address within ourselves without the help of a trained and qualified professional. There are no avenues in certain areas and aspects to explore so that we can seek the help that may be needed. One example is virtual verbal harassment, the trolls and rejects of the internet world. Where do you go to get help if you have been affected?
It is a great thing that Women’s Aid Ireland are attempting to raise awareness and tackle this issue but there are so many other related issues that must be also acknowledged in order to reach a satisfactory resolution.

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