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The Paranormal Community, Cyber Bullying, & Responsibility

In the realm of the paranormal community overall, this little blog of mine is just that: little. However, small as I may be, I feel I have responsibilities. Such as:

  • Playing nice with others. I don’t hesitate to call people out if it’s obvious they’re acting fraudulently, running a scam, or acting in ways that blemish the paranormal community as a whole. But I try not to be vicious about it.
  • Checking my facts. The last thing I want to do is spread misinformation. There’s enough of that out there as it is.
  • Respecting publicity. Again, I may be small, but I leave an imprint nonetheless. The press is a powerful tool –and weapon. It’s not meant for evil.

The trouble with some of the biggies is I don’t think they’re as responsible as they should be. Some started out that way. Some have fallen victim to sensationalism, fame, competition, and other things that have corrupted what started out as good intentions.

I’m not going to point fingers at any specific entities, be they blogs or TV shows. When I first started Haunt Jaunts, I was as big a fan of most of the best known paranormal people and sites as any other paranormal enthusiast. Then I became disenfranchised with most of it. I saw a lot of posturing and uncooperative attitudes. Turned me off.

For a while I spent time writing posts pointing out mistakes and myths TV shows in particular were perpetuating. I had no qualms about calling out the posers, fakes, and frauds.

Once in a while I’ll still scoff at a ghost tour or event that’s not acting right. (Meaning, they’re purposely promoting false evidence, like claiming photos of real people are ghosts, just to make a buck.)

These days I’ve decided not to waste my time on a lot of the TV shows because I don’t want my blog to be all about what I think is wrong with most of them. (Which is what I spent a lot of time doing in the beginning.)

REAL PEOPLE ROAM HERE

I’ve mellowed as I’ve grown with my blog, mainly because I’ve come to realize the people I’m writing about are real. This hit home when someone called me out on a snarky comment I’d left in response to a post on another blog about a newspaper article covering a group of ghost hunters.

Once I went back to look at it, I knew I had to issue an apology. I’d been mean just because I could –and because I thought no one would pay attention.

They did. They do.

I was reminded of that again when over the weekend Donna LaCroix left a comment on a post I’d written about her two years ago. This post has been one of my most popular. It’s currently third most popular overall. I left a comment on Facebook thinking this was the one that still got heated comments from time to time. I was mistaken. It gets comments, but the Full of Shit: TIME Magazine and Fact or Faked is the one that draws more heat.

However, people definitely have their opinions about Donna too and how and why she left GH. The comment that touched my heart the most was the one Donna herself left.

As she pointed out, TV lures us into believing we know the people we’re watching on our favorite shows. I’m definitely guilty of passing judgement on people in my favorite reality shows and coping a holier than thou attitude when they act foolishly.

CYBER RESPONSIBILITY

But some people take it farther. Thanks to social media, email…heck, the Internet in general, “stars” are accessible to us. Some people abuse that and think it’s okay to electronically harass others. It’s not.

Donna’s comment is proof they see our words. Her comment is also proof that being on TV doesn’t make you immune from hurtful comments. From the sounds of it, she’s certainly had to deal with a lot of opinions and even cyber bullying.

Isn’t that so sad?

The thing that has boggled me ever since I got more involved in the paranormal community is how fierce the competition within it is. Which strikes me as crazy. No group is better than another. That’s impossible. No matter what evidence people have gathered in the form of EVPs, photos, etc., at the end of the day ghosts still have not been proven to exist. No one can conjure one on demand. No one is better at “catching” them than anyone else.

The arrogance, the belittling, the being just plain mean in general –what amounts to cyber bullying in many cases, especially when people go on an online war path against someone– is shameful. Especially because at the end of the day it’s not for any good reason at all. It’s just because computers gives people  anonymity which gives them the  courage to unleash their inner nastiness.

I try to make a conscious effort not to be a jerk online. Once in a while I fail. After reading Donna’s comment, though, I’m going to try even harder to be an upstanding online citizen. I’m going to continue to respect my fellow paranormal enthusiasts and follow the Golden Rule: if I don’t have anything nice to say, I’m keeping my trap shut!

CYBER BULLIES CAN SUCK IT!

I’m also going to ask anyone reading this to consider your online presence. If you wouldn’t say to someone’s face what you’d write in a blog post or comment, what makes it okay to write it?

The only thing I can say is: trolls, snarks, jealous online beasties…whatever you want to call them, they are cowards at heart.

The upside is, their true colors are super easy to spot. That’s why I let them leave their nasty, slimy word trails and rarely dignify their stupidity with a reply. I know anyone else who reads what they’ve said will see them for what they really are: Pathetic.

ONE LAST NOTE

Play nice with each other, people. Kindness matters.

Peace out!

 

Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her on a tennis court somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
http://www.courtneymroch.com

7 thoughts on “The Paranormal Community, Cyber Bullying, & Responsibility

  1. Great post Courtney. There is just so much flack and tripe floating around these days in the community. I salute you for holding to your morals.

  2. Very good post. You and Autumnforest seem to be on the same track talking about cyber bullies today. I usually won’t post a comment if I don’t have anything to say especially if it isn’t nice. Like you, I have changed the content of my blog posts since I started blogging. I don’t like doing reviews or criticizing others on what they are doing. I love writing stories about the Wild West history, my road trips and sharing photos. I applaud you for speaking up about cyber bullying. I think the trolls are not happy people and want the rest of us to be miserable too. Glad to see you will remain your wonderful and cheery self.

  3. Thx Phil and Adsila. I appreciate you taking the time to comment and be your cool selves. Also, I know Sharon’s had some problems with being harrasses, Adsila. Very sorry to hear that. It’s because she’s so happy, you’re right. People don’t like to see others happy for whatever reason. It’s very sad.

  4. I see it a lot in the pagan community too and while I’m not perfect…I have my bad days too (they tell me it’s because I’m human – who knew?), I usually try to be the voice of reason.
    Our Destination Truth Fan Ambassador has endured a lot of harassment online as well, to the point she almost quit a few times, which I’m glad to say did not happen as without her I wouldn’t have this link to the DT crew and be in the know so much about them.
    It seems to be human nature to thrive on conflict and negativity. I just can’t understand why. (Which is why I had to question if I was really human lol.)
    This is one reason ghosts don’t scare me even half as much as living people do! 😉

  5. Gosh, I’m STUNNED to hear it goes on in the pagan community too. I never would’ve guessed that. And you’re right…humans can be so mean to each other and thrive on bad stuff. That is why I, also, am not frightened by ghosts as much as people. I like to think ghosts get smarter and kinder in the afterlife. I also liked your comment about not being human. You are a kind soul. Sensitive and true. It’s why I’m drawn to you. Wish there was more of that in this crazy world of ours.

  6. Well said as usual Courtney. It still confounds me to think how far people will go to “protect” whatever image they think they have built online.

    Whether they are a skeptic or believer, there is no shortage of opinions which is good, but taking those opinions and making them appear as truths is where the problem lies.

  7. Oh, Steve, dagnabit. You did it again. Why didn’t I say it like that? Yes. Opinions being posed as truths IS the problem. Now it’s my turn to say “Well said!”

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