Social Media is ‘a Disease’ as it ‘Encourages Bullies’ and creates a ‘Climate of Fear’. Abusive power and control (also controlling behavior and coercive control) is the way that an abusive person gains and maintains power and control over another person in order to subject that victim to psychological, physical, sexual, or financial abuse. The motivations of the abuser are varied and can include devaluation, envy, personal gain, personal gratification, psychological projection, or just for the sake of the enjoyment of exercising power and control. Isolation, gaslighting, mind games, lying, disinformation, propaganda, destabilization, brainwashing and divide and rule are other strategies that are often used.
Gaslighting is an “ambient” form of abuse that you feel but are not quite aware of it’s presence. Reverend and psychotherapist Sheri Heller, LCSW, who specializes in complex trauma, narcissistic abuse, and addiction, says.
“Nevertheless, it’s infiltrating your subconscious like elevator music or subliminal advertising.”
One way the “ambient abuser” tries to get the upper hand, Heller says, is by pretending to have your back and being committed to your growth and well-being. “They present themselves as benevolent and insightful, even altruistic,” Heller says. “Virtue-signaling is a tactic used by ambient abusers. Virtue signaling is when one conspicuously touts their moral values and philanthropic activities to garner admiration and cultivate a false sense of security and establish trust.” In the end Virtue-signaling conceals the hidden motive which often is to manipulate opinions of others and to create an echo chamber of self-gratification.
The act of canceling, also referred to as cancel culture (a variant on the term “callout culture”) describes a form of boycott in which an individual who has shared a questionable or controversial opinion, or has had behavior in their past that is perceived to be offensive recorded on social media. Often it is a tactic of those who use Gaslighting and/or Virtue Signaling to build their own egos, while vilifying another person and destroying their self-worth. The tactics themselves are psychologically abusive and not unlike the tactics used by spousal abusers with their victims.
These manipulators are a special form of abuser that have become common in the modern world of social media. They use their social media friends list and followers list to build an overwhelming sense of self righteousness through the liberal use of a self-made echo chamber. By deleting and or blocking anyone that disagrees with them, they control the narrative. Others who desire to be “Virtuous” join them and build upon the framework of the abuser’s home-made attack machine. They use emotional blackmail to force others into supporting their conclusions, even when the conclusions have little or no factual basis. Verbal abuse, guilt trips, intimidation, and other forms of psychological punishment are the bread and butter that feeds the Manipulative Abuser’s narcissism.
The Vulnerable victim discovers that their actions and words from decades ago are used to exploit and delegitimize anything they now say or do. If the victim said or did something questionable at any point in their life, they are now judged by a jury of social media bullies who reinforce the punishment laid upon the victim through the liberal use of emotional attacks. The vulnerabilities of the victim are exploited, and the exploiters take delight in advertising how they have abused their victim. The abuser then is praised by other abusers and the number of abusers grow. All of whom feel they are justified in their tactics of psychological warfare.
Being aware of these tactics allows one to overcome them. Unfortunately, the abusive and destructive elements of Social Media Disease are growing like a plague and you too may be using these tactics. You may even feel justified for doing so. Being self aware, right now, is more important than ever. Don’t let yourself become infected by this Social Media Disease.